Happily Unmarried

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lost in Transit

I love airports. And planes. And hotels. I don't know what exactly it is - the act of going away, the feeling of being in transit, the exhilaration of being some place else, the relief of anonymity, the impersonal, sterilized comforts that one finds on flights and in hotels, the practiced warmth and courtesy of airline and hotel staff, the freebies and amenity kits - I love all of that.

So much so, that secretly, I even love the dull and frequently annoying stuff like check-ins and security checks and boarding queues. I love aimlessly flipping through magazines, drinking synthetic coffee and occasionally staring at TV monitors in transit lounges. I love watching people on their way somewhere. I love wondering about their reason for travel. I love striking up (at times inane) conversations with strangers. At times, I even love delays; you probably need to be a very twisted sort of person to love that, but I love losing myself longer than necessary in a sea of faces, tote bags, strolleys and rows of blue chairs while I read or ponder and wait for my boarding call. I love being inaccessible to the world for a few hours, when people back at work or at home are wondering why I havenít reached. Surprisingly, I don't like being on those coaches they use to ferry passengers to the aircraft. I much prefer aerobridges. I love the smell of the air freshener inside aircrafts. I love the routine of settling down in my cramped economy class seat. I love reading glossy travel articles in-flight magazines. And horror of horrors, I love waiting for the crew to start serving the food, no matter how unappetizing. I love the way the drab food is neatly laid out in sterile plastic trays. I love looking out of the window and wondering when Iíll travel next. I love cruising at 30,000 feet above sea level; just a wee bit higher than Mount Everest.

I love the bitter-sweet, near tangible nostalgia that grips me on a flight, reminding me of a time when travelling and being in love felt synonymous. Reminding me of meetings and farewells, hugs and heartbreaks in hotels and airports. Reminding me of times when we traveled together and held hands through turbulence and take offs, but went our separate ways after touch down.

- H

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