I’m no stranger to airports. I’ve hopped across the ocean on obnoxiously long flights, I’ve skipped from state to state on quick planes. I used to love airports, airplanes and flying of all kinds. The people-watching is unparalleled and everyone has a story–where are they going? Where have they been? Why? What did they experience?
Now, as much as these thoughts intrigue me, airports have gotten quite irritating.
Mostly because I’m sitting in one right now, my flight having been delayed two and a half hours. I was confronted by the man at security who asked me if I was old enough to travel alone (I’m short, so that’s understandable, but really?) and then stopped again because my laptop set off security alarms.
“Is this yours?” the TSA officer asked. “I’m going to have to open this bag…is there anything in here that’s going to harm me, hon?”
First time I’ve ever been asked that question.
Then, without any public announcement, my flight was pushed back due to Orlando’s lovely rainstorms that were spitting lightning over the runways.
So far I am surviving on caffeine and my wits alone. This is a bit like a prehistoric wasteland, or perhaps a primitive zoo.
People tend to get testy when their flights are cancelled or delayed. They push and shove their way to the desk, pester the flight attendants and then transfer their frustration to everyone else. Children scream and cry and whine, parents try desperately to keep their clans under control. (Although if I were a kid leaving Disney World, I’d probably feel the same way.)
I do hear a lot of people praising the Magical World of Disney, though. I hear a lot of families discussing their experiences, often using the sentence, “Isn’t it amazing?” I’ve overheard stories of above and beyond customer service and enthusiastic exclamations over rides and character meetings. (I’m very good at eavesdropping. Also, no one ever suspects me with my nose buried in a book on the prehistoric history of food.)
Even more interesting are the dynamics between people. There are a few happy couples that are embarrassingly fond of PDA. There are tired-looking parents of multiple children who look like the magic has long worn off. Children are complaining. Businessmen are anxiously staring at their watches. I feel like the odd duck, sitting on my laptop or perusing my books on customer service. (I’m really exciting, right?)
Best of all, there are British people! Like every cliché American, I’m quite fond of hearing them talk. They’re my favorite to eavesdrop on. I don’t even care what they’re saying.
I’m extremely hungry, but fortunate enough to have one of very few seats at the gate. There is no way I’m giving that up for dinner. Ha. I have found a granola bar in my bag and it shall have to suffice.
I shall spare you all the rest of my airport musings! I hope your Wednesday evening is far more interesting than mine. Bon Voyage!