I love airports, I really do. I know they come with their own unique security risks but I love travelling and everything involved in it. Airports are prime people watching zones and for a poet that is worth more than gold. I love watching people anyways but watching people in a heightened situation is even better. I love looking at the fashions and wondering which weather zone people have flown in from. I wonder about that couple at Burger King at 5am and wonder where the hell they came from and what would possess anyone to eat Burger King (at any time of day). I love the kids having full on diva strops and the parents slowly losing control. I also love the kids adorable carry on luggage and how proud they are to drag them along. I love watching the flight crew swagger by, glam despite the hour. I love the random conversations that people have. I love the arrivals area and the excitement of people reconnecting. I always wanna find out the story – how long they’ve been apart, what they’ve got planned for their trip etc.
Over this Christmas flying season I’ve seen some soldiers returning from duty. It is heartbreaking to watch these baby faced kids and wonder what they’ve lived through in the last while. On one of my stops one sat opposite me and was opening a pile of Christmas cards, reading through each with the biggest grin on his face. An older gentleman came up to him and thanked him for everything he was doing for the country and hoped he’d always be safe. It was like something out of a movie.
I’ve been lucky enough to fly in and out of a fair few destinations in the world and it’s a comfort to me that airport life will always be the same. It’s the same set up: check in, security, food, people watch, fly. It’s a constant when all around is changing.
On my flight back from MN I had a little bit of a mad dash to make through Dallas airport to try and make my connection. My flight from MN landed at 10am and the other one was taking off at 10.35, so I had little or no time to make it. I hauled ass through the airport and got to the gate. The attendant was quite rude and said the flight had closed and they had been calling me and they didn’t know if they were gonna let me on. They were making phone calls to see if I would be allowed to board. I stopped myself from letting rip at them about selling flights with such short connections cos I decided it would be wiser to keep things cool. So after ten minutes of toing and froing they decided to let me on the flight. They made a huge deal of it, even changing my seat as if I’d caused them all such a great hardship. I made my way down the gangway, picturing a plane filled with irate people, glaring at me. Not so. The flight attendant on board was lovely and made sure I was settled in and had everything I needed and then went to the tannoy and made the announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience today. We are just waiting for the pilot and first attendant to make their way from another flight and after preflight checks are done we should be able to be on our way. Thank you for your patience this morning” I almost wanted to get off the plane and go and yell at the rude lady at the front desk. They were giving me shit about being late and they didn’t even have a pilot on board?? What a joke! We spent another hour on the taramac before we were able to fly. This was enough time for me to watch my bag arrive planeside but unfortunately it didn’t make it to Mexico. Well an hours not really long enough to organize lifting a bag from a trolley and putting it on a plane a few feet away, right?
The missing bag doesn’t really bother me. It’s just filled with stuff and hey we’ve all got too much stuff. I’m always just really grateful that a plane touches down intact and that everybody is safe and sound. Also I saw this news story after I got back and was just so relieved that it wasn’t my flight. A drunk pilot doesn’t even bare thinking about! http://www.startribune.com/local/185653732.html?refer=y
So I’m back safe and sound in Mexico. My house wasn’t overrun with insects in my absence. There were only two and they both had the decency to be already dead which was a blessing. The sun was still shining. I still only understand every 5th word that people are saying. It’s only 4 weeks til we get a few days off from work. It’s the little things.
Ps – And this: http://highability.org/70/entitled-to-be-exceptional/ my aim for 2013, to be exceptional in all things. No pressure!
Finish How To Be Good by Nick Hornby
Start Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad