I love airports! There I’ve said it.
As a veteran of Indian bus and train travel, I’ve pushed my way through countless narrow aisles, clutched my bag in a death grip and dragged my suitcase behind me. I have squashed myself on everything from ledges to perching on suitcase edges to corners of the seats. Also, while travelling in ordinary bus or train (code for no air conditioning), I have either packed myself in enough insulation to tackle the Himalayas or sat listlessly with my shirt clinging to my back and beads of sweat running down my neck.
So you can imagine how luxurious and queenly I feel about flying and strolling down airport gates.
Plush carpeted floor. Wide-open space. Those eye-catching art installations. Air conditioning. Window shopping. Elegant and smart eating joints. Polite and helpful people everywhere, even in the washrooms. Ah! Neat and clean washrooms.
Also airport terminals mean I am jet setting across the land.
Adventure is out there.
“I urge you; go find buildings and mountains and oceans to swallow you whole. They will save you, in a way nothing else can.”– Christopher Poindexter
Be ready for the unexpected.
Unexpected like the taste of a rhubarb pie in Dubai Airport. It was a midnight snack while waiting for a connecting flight home to Delhi. I had never eaten rhubarb before so it felt decently adventurous.
Sweet with a hint of tartness, rhubarb entered my list of exotic food I had eaten on this fabulous trip two years ago.
Dubai airport was also the place where I had an encounter of a special sort with the locals. Mami and I had to catch our connecting flight to Rome at an unearthly hour. I remember walking off the plane, gripping my empty water bottle. We were absolutely parched after that long flight. I frantically looked beyond the stores, the souvenirs crowding the shelves, the gleaming, golden kiosks and a super bike displayed with a placard, ‘Please don’t ride for your own safety’.
No water point.
A small crowd had gathered around a corner of a store. Curiosity pulled Mami and she pulled me. An Arab man in his traditional dress with a companion was handing out Arabic coffee in tiny disposable cups.
Like thrifty travellers, our first words were, “Is it free?”
An affirmative nod later, we were slaking our throats with it.
“Oh! A chocolate date too?”
“ Yum! And thank you.”
Next thing we knew, two gift bags with chocolate dates were offered to us.
“Are these free too?”
Yay! Talk about unexpected stuff happening.
The mystery cleared soon enough. It was the festival of Eid the night we landed there. Hence, treats for the passerby.
“One cup of coffee
Then I’ll go
Though I just dropped by
To let you know…-Bob Marley, “One cup of coffee“
Oh! I eventually found a water fountain to fill my bottle too. Hurray!
Weekly Prompt: The unexpected
#WQWWC#27: Writer’s Choice