What would you do if you were alone at the airport, 4,500 miles away from home, in the middle of a wintery blizzard and had six hours to spare? Some people might say that they would FaceTime a friend, and others might try all the “gourmet” food the airport has to offer. Me? Lol. I got yelled at by a cranky old Indian lady, caught a snowy ride to my terminal, and camped out in a corner of a Starbucks praying that I blended in with the burnt orange seats and black-and-white photo plastered walls.
Winter break sped by as all free time usually does, leaving me with lots of interesting stories and what better place to write than a snowed-in airport filled with delayed flights and frantic people, and a chai tea latte with extra fluffy whipped cream sitting next to me waiting to warm me up (yes I am basic I have no regrets). The hospital I interned at during break gave me so much to write about but was also filled with so many ailing people whose physical situations might’ve been depressing but whose life experiences were anything but. I met a guy who had travelled the world as an undercover agent for the government and at 81 recounted his love affairs with Spanish women and near-death experiences while getting botox injections in the forehead (I can’t even take a flu shot without crying) while also getting the pleasure of alsbeing introduced to the mysterious case of the “bird-boy”, who suffered from a curious condition that caused his legs to become claw-like.
Aside from my trip, It’s also seriously therapeutic just sitting listening to music and watching strangers. You realize how many different kinds of lifestyles and people there are, and how much there is to think about when you take a step back to just breathe and observe. There are the kinds of people who sit next to you and spend half an hour online shopping versus those who rapidly input data for graphs and aggressively create presentations for a deadline next week. There are also those fascinating people, who somehow manage to look as if they’ve emerged from a fashion magazine and have such a purpose when they walk that there’s a separate line for them in security because even the TSA is scared to mess with such put-together people. Of course, there’s always the people, who make you feel better about yourself too – you know, the people with screaming kids or sleep deprived messes that even 10 cups of coffee can’t save. The airport is the biggest crossroad of confusion and order, diversity and unity, and unique stories being created or remembered in each and every moment.