Thursday, June 20, 2013

Observations from an Airport

In my single days I seemed to be in an airport every weekend.  While that is a rare occurrence these days, in the past year I've found myself on planes and trains.  Some of it was fun, some of it was insanely stressful.  But I was reminded that one of the best things about travel is people watching.  You can sit back and speculate on all the people sitting in your gate area and wonder why they are going where you're going.  What are they doing on their laptops?  Who are they talking to?  Why are they reading *that* book?  You can speculate on all the people going by.  Where are they rushing - or not rushing - off to?  Is it for fun or business?  Are they happy to be going or not?  And what (maybe I don't want to know!) are they speculating about me?  Here are some observations:

  • Everyone knows the TSA regulations by now and that there is increased security.  So I must ask why would you wear the complicated shoes and 1000 bangles and the pants with 20 pockets (all with something  in them) when you know you have to take it all off and put it back on and still make your plane on time?  I'm not even saying that because I'm behind you - I'm one of those people that is late to everything in every day life but I'm 2 hours early for a plane.  But really,  save yourself the trouble and look cute when you get there.
  • I hope the nervous-looking young girl in African national dress walking down the concourse was being met by the equally nervous-looking young man in African national dress holding the hugest bunch of roses I have ever seen.  I kind of wish I had stayed around to find out, but my first inclination was that probably one less person gawking at them as they greeted each other was a good thing.  I hope they are living happily ever after!
  • I laughed out loud watching a wee girl ride on her wheeled yellow suitcase that looked like a duck.  How fun!  And smart Mom & Dad to make it fun and get where they need to be on time.
  • To the flight attendant who sang the safety regulations, you sir are brilliant.  You're enjoying your job and putting smiles on our faces.  And you got everyone to pay attention!
  • Ditto to the flight attendant who cracked jokes through the whole flight, including telling us to "waaaaaaaiit" when the plane pulled up at the gate.
  • I don't know who Marcia is or where she was coming from or how long she'd been gone, but she had quite the welcoming committee!  30+ people with balloons, signs, confetti and a trumpet.  You are one lucky lady, Marcia, and your fans seem pretty lucky too!
  • Thank you to the kind security agents who were gracious about some jam we had in our carry-ons that were over the liquid/gel limit.  They could have just said sorry and chucked it, but seeing my son's disappointment, they directed us to go back downstairs and see if the check-in agents had a box so we could check it through.  We couldn't and had to bin it anyway, but they were very anxious to hear the result when we got back through the line and directed us to the duty free inside where we could get more.  These people see thousands and thousands of passengers each day and for them to take the extra moments was very much appreciated.
  • And lastly, there was only one time I have been on a completely silent airplane.  The captain announced shortly after takeoff that we had the honor of taking a fallen hero home to his family and asked that we not deplane until such ceremonies as are necessary were completed.  Everyone spent the flight in quiet contemplation and an attitude of gratefulness.  To the military escort sitting up front, thank you not only for your service but for undertaking this most difficult job; I hope you can bring some measure of comfort to this veteran's family.  To the fallen goes our ultimate thanks, godspeed and may you live in the light always.

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