I don’t get embarrassed any more, I don’t mind that she is running her fingers around the inside of my trouser waist and down my legs. It is her job after all to pat down and inspect the crowds that visit here every year.
Here they come, business men and women rushing through the terminal impatient, exasperated with the process, clanking keys and belts into the tray. Frustration oozing out of their pores, knowing that whichever queue they will be in will be the slowest.
I have learned to love this place. This is now a place where adventure starts. The emotional rollercoaster of leaving loved ones behind to go forward into the unknown. The butterflies of apprehension and the dread of losing many hours in getting to a destination.
Despite the volume of people here, there are wonderful voids in the noise where sound reverberates. I can hear the rolling of wheels, the clicking of heels on the hard tiled floor, the call for prayer, a bad lounge version of Nirvana’s Come as you Are playing softly in Ted Baker. Just why are that girl’s shoes making so much noise?
The tears roll down. She is trying to be discreet so she covers her face with the sleeve of her speckled cream, purple, blue, and green jumper. She is missing something important. I’m not sure what, I can only surmise the event based on what little information I stole from her. I would like to comfort her; to enquire how she is. I can’t, I have intruded on her privacy. I turn away quite embarrassed to witness her discomfort. I slug the strong bitter coffee and wince when it scolds my tongue. I smile, as I recall trying to explain “what is a splash of cold water” to the Polish waitress.
“Daddy I can run like the wind” the small boy laughs, I am brought back to reality just before he falls at my feet. I bend down to check he is okay. His bottom lip is quivering. I look up slightly panicked to locate Daddy in the hope that he can retrieve the situation before the inevitable wailing starts.
I move away from the crying to become one of the hundreds of wanderers, killing time before the flight is called or stretching legs in between the flight. I make my way to the bookshop. The smell of fish invades my nostrils as I pass the Seafood Bar. God I hate fish.
‘Excuse me’ I say to the lady trying to balance a bottle of water, her coat and her jumper while trying to retrieve her boarding pass from her handbag. ‘I think you’ve dropped your scarf’.
Why do they make you show a boarding pass to buy a bottle of water?
The overhead speaker is announcing my flight, time for the travel to begin and to leave this watcher’s paradise until next time. When you take the time to sit back, this is a fantastic place to be.
The airport is one of the many places I don’t mind hanging out and people watching is definitely a favourite pastime. What’s one of yours?