There are certain travel myths that go completely bust when you go on vacation. I learnt this a longways back. When I was a green teenager, I imagined I'd come down the airport escalators carelessly swinging a fashionable handbag across my shoulder, looking fresh as a cucumber, my hair-do perfect and untouched, my skin glowing, sporting a Colgate smile on my face. A mirthful greeting with adoring parents and friends replete with bouquets, hugs, chocolates et al..completed my imagination. Blame it on all the airport scenes in our movies with our Simrans, Preity Zintas and Rani Mukherjees..:)
Reality bites. You are greeted by serpentine immigration queues; you are lugging two rather heavy hand baggages across the airport; your flight has already been delayed a couple of hours; the flight food really did taste like dog-food and you haven't had anything to eat for the past 24 hours; you misplaced your moisturizer somewhere and your skin looks all dehydrated; to top it all, your feet are cramped and swollen from hours of sitting in the same position. All in all, everytime I get out of a flight, I doubt I look anything near fresh and energetic...:)
The other travel myth that personally doesn't hold for me is the concept of "in-flight reading". I generally find lots of people at airports with their noses buried in books, laptops, memos and what-not. I figured that this time I was going to be one of those people. I was going to be immersed in some book oblivious to the world around me and just look up when the boarding call is announced. With that grandiose vision in mind, I took "Freakonomics" with me. Guess what happened? I couldn't keep my eyes on the book long enough for me to finish one page! The reason is because I see people all around me and it interests me. The young mother who struggles to deal with her baby, an old couple laughing into each other's eyes as they carry on some mundane conversation on yet another journey, executive types who are engrossed in their work, nervous people who shift their weight as they sit around waiting for flights, young teens giggling about a cute guy sitting opposite them...the list is endless! I may never see them again but its interesting to notice a fragment of their lives. How many different shades people do come in! No two people look alike. No two behave alike. The study of humanity is the most interesting thing there is in this world...:)
That’s my two minutes of introspection and philosophy at the airport. And with that, goes me reading “Freakonomics”…sigh.