AIRPORTS AND US !
I’m more of a train person – or so I thought till the time I boarded my first flight, a short haul from Hyderabad to Delhi. I was hooked. For the Missus it’s a completely different story. She prefers to travel by air from the bedroom to the garden if that were possible.
After we got hitched, been three years now, we’ve been flying around quite a lot. And, yes, not even one train journey together – if you leave out a short move in a jam packed Bombay Local.
We’re polar opposites when it comes to flying or waiting for a flight. For starters she likes to look pretty and I like to look like – well – ‘Mr. Functional Clothing’ (You know the multiple pocket pants for you passport, cash, card, cellphone, water bottle, pet dog kind of thing).
As soon as we enter the airport my priority is to check in, get through security and find a nice quiet corner and jump into a book, maybe snack a little, and dive back right in. For her it’s about SHOPPING! No matter how tiny the airport she’ll be flitting about from store to store looking and things and maybe buying them and thinking why she bought it in the first place.
These purchases are usually justified by phrases like, “But it’s so cute”, “It’s so fluffy”, “We need one for home yaar!”. These are universal signs for any guy to just zip it and let her do her thing – or you’ll listen to it for the entire duration of the flight.
Airport food – no matter whatever the place, always tastes like it was made by robots – who were made on an alien planet. I detest it – and usually stick to juices and packed stuff. She just has to see the word burger or salad written there and she’s game.
When we have time at the airport I generally ponder over how cold and machine like airports are – everyone knows where he is going but nobody knows where the other one is off to. It is pretty much the closest we’ll get to making a portal to another world … and … BAM! She’s hopping to you giggling about where she just spotted a Gelato cart or why she needs to take a photo here or how this place has SO MUCH GLASS !!
As a rule now we are NEVER free when the boarding call is made – we’re either eating, shopping or I’m listening to a new sermon on airport fashion disasters.
Well the flight is another story – I like windows, she likes aisles and Pepsi, lots of Pepsi. So much so that she’s already pressed the call bell three time 20 minutes into take off. There was this one time when the good air hostess left an entire bottle with her – just so she wouldn’t call her again. I like my reserved space, listen to some music, watch some shows or movies on the in-flight entertainment system read a little and nap. After a gallon of pop in her she dozes off to sleep. In a snap!! Her head perfectly fits on the foldout table – She’s blessed I guess. If she’s woken from her slumber she’ll watch some irrelevant TV show till EXACTLY the time she’s sleepy again. Which is why I dread the local flights with no TV system !!
When the flight’s landed she’s as fresh as the morning dew and I look like a cactus in the desert, wearing cargo pants.
But sleep or no sleep – through the aisles and windows, through security checks and duty free, through plastic burgers and ice cold drinks, through shopping and window shopping – It’s always a hoot to travel with her.
Be ORDINARY !
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