Tuesday, July 20, 2010

planes of air

Airplane travel is nature's way of making you look like your passport photo. Al Gore

I’m thinking that Al Gore must have never actually been in an airport. Perhaps, what he’s really trying to say is that airplane travel makes you feel like your passport photo. The reason that I doubt he’s been in an airport is simply because every time that I set foot in an airport I am shocked to see women and men dressed to the teeth. I have seen women wearing little black dresses, high heels, and sparkling jewelry. Men have rushed by in formal dress attire. Every once in a while, one might see a person or a couple who have seemingly walked out of a tacky postcard that one would never consider purchasing no matter how cheap. As far as I’m concerned, passport pictures have absolutely no resemblance to the living and breathing person whether or not you’ve traveled for an entire day or not.

Airports are tiny cities within cities. These hubs have more diversity and movement in one hour than possibly any city that I have ever visited. When layovers last for more than an hour or so, I delight in gazing at the speed walking pedestrians as some run to their gates while others should be getting carried to their gates. Some people talk to themselves. Some chatter to their companions. Some walk in quiet silence next to their travel partner. One particular time, my attention was specifically captivated by a man who from the waist up was clad in a suit coat and dress shirt. On his lower half, the man wore pastel pink shorts. My mind leapt to a trillion reasons as to this man’s odd attire. Perhaps he spilled coffee on his dress pants and he borrowed his son’s shorts as he was rushing out of the house. Perhaps, he tripped through a cotton candy stand and the pink gripped his shorts. Or perhaps, the man just had a dreadful sense of fashion. After all, anything is possible.

There was a time in my life where I found traveling difficult. Travel stressed me out and friendly little zits popped up on my face. I fondly termed them ‘my travel zits.’ These days, travel enthralls me. With or without zits – more often than not without zits – I travel relatively stress-free. When I see airplanes fly above my head, I wonder where the passengers are headed. The question that follows that wondering is the curiosity of when I will next be seated on an airplane headed out of the country. In many senses, airports and travels work like clockwork. There are minor problems like losses of bags, airplane toilets, and the occasional infuriated traveler. As far as I’m concerned, angry travelers are a waste of time especially since their anger never accomplishes anything. I find it rather annoying and tad comical. Infuriated customers are amusing simply in the fact that they make horrible scenes and refuse to see past their own noses. Honestly, do they think that those working with the luggage think to themselves, ‘hmm, this bag looks snooty so we’ll leave it behind?’ I would laugh out loud if that were the case.

The airplane stays up because it doesn't have the time to fall. Orville Wright