I have an interesting relationship with airports. We’ve seen each other a lot, but we are not exactly friends. I know how to work my way through an airport, and I can get some kids through security quite efficiently. My recent experience in a few airports inspired me to share with you some of my most memorable experiences in airports.
1. Once upon a time, I was in the Atlanta airport waiting for my friend to pick me up. An entire family of 5 including a grandma walked by in their pajamas. They were all wearing flannel pjs. They didn’t match. This bothered me. I figured if it was PJ Day at the airport, they should’ve matched. Or at least announced it to everyone.
2. Long ago, I was in the Jakarta airport. I was terribly sick. My two daughters were laying on me asleep. I was waiting for my husband, but I knew I couldn’t stand up much longer. I finally heaped myself down on the large luggage pile that was ours and considered going to sleep, too. I heard yelling from a familiar voice. Our flight reservation had been dumped because we hadn’t re-confirmed. I have a problem with re-confirming. It just doesn’t work with the definition of confirmed. I saw Matt waving around his arms at the airline attendant, and I knew it was just an ugly American day for us. I feebly yelled his way, “Change my ticket to Texas!!!!!”
3. On a dark night, I was in the Singapore airport watching my husband throw his back out with our two carts of international luggage. My new-born was crying. Our other two girls were running around me in circles. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. I’m pretty sure I talked myself out of laughing or crying. Maybe I cried.
4. In a bright corridor in the Chiang Mai airport, I saw with dread the immigration lines brimming with people all the way to the windows. We pushed up our strollers, our bags and held onto our other girls trying to muster up the model of patience for them. I was trying to guess how long we would be standing there when an immigration officer saw our family. He came and ushered us up to a separate line and helped us quickly go through the questions and stamping of passports. I thanked him, but he will never know how grateful we were that day.
5. With gritty eyes, we made our way through the Chicago airport. We had come from Asia, and we couldn’t wait to see our families for Christmas. We walked slowly to our next gate with stroller and children in tow. My eyes caught something outside that I hadn’t seen before. Snow was falling. “We have to go outside,” I said. The girls were in their shorts and flip-flops, but they didn’t care. We stepped outside the automatic doors. I watched with delight as their little faces filled with wonder, pleasure, and feelings of “I’m Freezing!!!” We ran back inside breathless and happy.
6. One hot Indian night, we landed at the New Delhi airport. After navigating immigration, our group leader instructed us that we were going to be in a truck for a very long time. My face was blasted with hot air when we exited the building, and I found the women’s restroom on the side. There was a woman inside the restroom. She handed me one square of toilet paper. I think I was supposed to give her money, but I didn’t know what she was saying. So, I did my business and left. I thanked her, but I wondered what a job that must be.
7. I’m not sure anything could prepare one for the Port Au Prince airport. I was glad I had world airport experience. The porters are everywhere, and they are aggressive. They made Indonesian porters seem stand-0ffish. I found myself admiring their fortitude and persistence and hoping I can have that kind of gumption when I need it.
Hey, this is fun! I think I’ll do a Part 2 to keep the airport ball rolling.