People Watching At The Airport

Airports are interesting places.  There are so many people coming and going for a magnitude of various reasons, and I just can’t help but ponder those reasons.  There are endless possibilities of the lives and stories that you can encounter.  There is something in airports that makes them magical.

You can tell who flies often by their speed and efficiency of getting undressed at security checkpoints.  The lady in front of me forgets to take her belt off and the alarm sounds as she walks through the body scanner.  Mortified, she turns back to me and exclaims how sorry she is for holding up the queue and how she will never wear that belt again when flying.  I tell her not to worry as I too add in delaying the queue by forgetting to take my laptop out of my laptop bag.  Despite the hitch, we both make it through security and onwards to the waiting area.

I have an hour and a half to spare so I decide to get some food.  I sit down by the window, with the choice of facing the runway and watching the planes take off or facing the opposite way to watch a colourful array of people come and go.  I decide to people watch.

A few minutes after I sit down, a monk (I can only assume he is a Buddhist monk) in an orange robe takes a seat across from me.  He takes off his orange robe to reveal a grey one and delicately places it on the seat next to him.  He slips off his comfortable looking slippers and proceeds to sit cross-legged on the hard metal chairs.  I later try to do this myself and acknowledge the discomfort; he must have excellent self-control.  He then prays for a solid five minutes (yes I was keeping an eye on the time) before beginning his meal.  Each bite of his food is placed gracefully into his mouth, and chewed delicately with his eyes closed, probably focused on experiencing and appreciating every small flavour.  After his meal the monk prays once last time, before putting his robe and slippers back on.  He shuffles away to board his flight, only being a speckle in my life for a brief moment.

The man next to me has been sitting there the whole time.  His appearance reminds me of the late Steve Jobs, he has glasses and a short grey beard, as well as a black baseball cap and black turtleneck sweater.  He is typing away intently at his laptop, however I must note that it is a PC as opposed to a Mac, which slightly taints his ensemble.  As I glance over I begin to wonder what he is typing… perhaps he is people watching and blogging like me, perhaps he is a secret government spy working with top secret documents, perhaps he is just playing solitaire, it remains a mystery.

I look around at everyone in the vicinity; there is an array of people of different ethnicities, ages, and personal style choices.   I wonder which one of them is flying to the same destination as me and for what reason.  I wonder which of them I will be privileged to sit next to on the flight.  Hopefully whoever it will be provides interesting conversation.

It is almost time to board my flight; I gather my things and wander off to find the departure gate.  My thoughts linger on with everyone I have been observing for the last hour, I wish them a safe journey to wherever they may be heading today and onwards.

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7 Comments on People Watching At The Airport

  1. What a great idea for a blog post.

  2. great post – airports are indeed intriguing and quite surreal places all at the same time.

  3. I loved this! I too find myself people watching like crazy in airports. I make up stories about people and I always find it serendipitous when I see someone from a previous flight board a connecting flight with me :)

  4. I actually keep a running list of people I see at airports who catch my attention. Haven’t done anything with that list yet… but maybe someday I’ll write about it!

  5. The best activity to do at the airport xD

  6. David Bookhardt // December 16, 2013 at 5:10 am // Reply

    You write well. Thanks for sharing.

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