November 29, 2011

Musings from an Airport

I am sitting in the Vancouver Airport again. Of all the airports I've been in I think I love this one the most. I always perch myself at this food court bar, set up my computer, and enjoy one of their many airport offerings. Today I actually bypassed Starbucks to go to Tim Hortons! Oh the humanity!!!! I would have never thought I was capable of such an act five years ago.  Small towns...they influence in many ways....but I will never wear PJs to the movies (no offense small town...you know who you are).

At any rate, I love people watching for the fun and excitement of it. My first observation is the overwhelming amount of smart phones. Everywhere I look people have their faces buried in their phone. Some walk like this while others just stand in the middle of the walkway.  I have to admit, I'm kinda one of them.....I'm just saying. What did we do when we had none of this? Sit and stare at each other?....that's just weird.

Then we have what we choose to wear for travel. Some dress to the nines with the high heels, makeup, skirts, and fancy bags as they hobble to their next flight. Others, I swear, are wearing what they slept in. Me? I still think it's summer. I'm wearing a sweater/puffy jacket vest thing with boyfriend jeans (why they are called this I will never understand) and sketchers. I'm 43 but dress like I'm 25...seriously. How did I make it in the world?

Then there's eye contact....we rarely give it to each other. If we mistakenly meet another's eyes we nervously look the other way like "oops...I didn't mean to do that...sorry".  I have to admit, I'm the irritating traveler who sometimes strikes up the conversation (hopefully with enough emotional intelligence to know when I'm irritating...I hope).  Seriously. I have sat here for about 30 minutes now and have tried to get eye contact and smile at people at they just look at me like I'm some sick weirdo sitting in the corner...whatever.

The most hilarious part of the airport culture that I can't get enough of is the transportation options available to your next flight. You have people hopping those crazy carts, you have the people who rush to the moving sidewalk things and stop (I just want to push them over when they do that, but I hold back...for now anyway). There are the stragglers, the speed walkers, the stair people, the elevator people. The people who choose to save a few pennies and carry everything on the plane and those, like me, who will always check their bags to remain baggage free (at least physically). 

Airports have become little shopping malls with book stores, spas, jewelry, clothing, hair stylists, and the like just waiting for your business. I can almost get anything I want here...over course at a crazy overinflated price. I struggle as I pass by the humongous bags of peanut M & Ms and reach for the salad....stupid eating healthy. There are so many choices it is very hard to eat well on the road.

But nothing is more interesting than the behaviour you witness on the plane itself. Human beings are interesting when crammed into tight places.  From the elbow guy who always encroaches on your personal space, to the bathroom guy who is always getting up to pee. We can get very intimate with strangers as we fly. I don't know how many times I've been hit in the face with a hip or bum...seriously. We share bathrooms and sometimes shoulders as someone slowly falls asleep on mine.  But THE most fascinating behaviour witnessed on the plane happens when we land and turn off the engine. All of a sudden everyone springs up like they have been sitting on tight springs the entire trip. They spring into action and abruptly stop. Necks are bent, backs are twisted....and then nothing. We wait. Hilarious.

What does this have to do with Real Life Health? I have no frickin clue...but if I sat here and thought about it long enough I'm sure I could think of something.  It could be the choices we make to be nice, grumpy, rotten, or just plane (pardon the play on words) rude to people.  It could be the choices we make between salads and chocolate covered bits of heaven, it could just be the fact that who we truly are is who we travel as.  Whatever..I don't know...right now I'm just waiting for my next flight to Calgary.

I promise to be nice to my "single-serving" friend on the plane (anyone pick up that "Fight Club" reference??).


That's all I got.
K

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