View From Seat 20A – Waiting

“View From Seat 20A” is series on the blog, chronicling my travel adventures.  20A is my usual seat (last row of Economy Plus + exit row – a poor woman’s first class), and the location of most of my travel adventures occur.

– waiting – and trying to catch the brash, OJ-demanding woman in her demanding glory behind me –

A glass shatters on the side table, its shards spilling on the stained carpet.  Behind me, a women barks out a grocery list into the phone.  Apparently she needs orange juice – she needs it, with her cough.  I’ll take some too, preferably with a heavy splash of vodka.

A TV broadcasts CNN on mute.  The only noise is the hum of the fan, the turning of newspaper pages, the clickty-clack of computer keys, the clanging of utensils over by the buffet, the random screams of children.  It’s like a jazz tune – every sound has a purpose, and it melds together into its own unique song.  Not being much of a jazz fan, I pop in my headphones and allow The Joy Formidable to fill my ears.

People are lost in their own worlds as they wait in their leather armchairs.  I glance at the boy sleeping across from me, and wonder what he’s dreaming of.  His father pecks away on his iPhone – I imagine he’s dealing with some sort of work crisis, given his furrowed brow and his head resting in his hand.  The woman next to me is dressed in flowered pants and a coral shirt; she chooses to snack during her wait, cutting fruit into bite-sized pieces and eating them, one by one.

The smells.  Ugh.  A mix of pungent body odor, mixed with the sweet odor of fruit and the tantalizing smell of grease from the buffet is somewhat torturous.  The smells make the wait the worst, as there’s nowhere to escape to.  The lounge may have its unpleasant odor, but the waiting area outside is even worse.

Wait.  It is the one word that sums up travel these days.  We wait in lines during the whole journey – to check in, go through immigration and security, to board and depart the flight.  We sit and wait to and from the airport, for the flight, and on the flight itself.

Wait.  Whoever said “It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts” obviously never traveled in 2012.  My journey is a haze of flight delays, traffic jams, security and boarding lines – it’s pathetic, really.  Until certain memories come flooding back…

…the incredible books I’ve read while traveling, which inspired me to write more – and start this blog.
…the random idea that is culminating into a potential business.
…reminiscing about a weekend where I met an incredible man – who would later become my husband.
…random glasses of champagne – the celebration being that it’s simply there.

Perhaps my journey isn’t as pathetic as I once imagined – but rather, forces me to slow down to get inspired and appreciate life.

And then this happens.  “Ladies and gentlemen, we regret to inform you that the boarding of Continental Airlines flight 048 to Newark is delayed by 20 minutes.  Kindly remained seated – boarding will begin at 11:10 p.m”

Any champagne left in this joint?