Monday, September 26, 2011

Arrivals and Departures

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport." - Hugh Grant, Love Actually

Arrivals is one of the most joyous places you can be! The kisses, the hugs, the tears, the exclamations over changed appearances, the laughter and the grins, the "how have you been?"s and the "I missed you so much!"s.

Departures, on the other hand, are a strange place to be, a melange of sadness and anticipation and regret and nostalgia and hope and promise. I know, because I've just come from Departures where I hugged my parents goodbye for what will be...a year? More? Now I'm sitting in the lounge of Gate 31, waiting for my flight to start boarding (it's going to be awhile...yay delays!) and looking around at the people who will be my fellow passengers, wondering what their stories are, where they're headed, and why.

There's an Asian man in a tight, striped v-neck pullover doing lunges and arm swings around the chairs - pre-flight exercise maybe? Judging from the looks he's getting, I'm not placing any bets on anyone joining him. Man, I REALLY hope he's not sitting beside me on the plane. A mental image of me getting knocked out by one of his arms just flashed across my brain. Two flight attendants are sipping coffee and chatting, looking smart in their navy suits and swishy blonde ponytails. A gaggle of girls are gossiping about the model on the cover of Cosmopolitan, trying to figure out where they know her from. A sleepy toddler is cuddled up against her mum, while one guy around my age is stretched out across four chairs with his Mac across his chest, no doubt dreaming sweet dreams of the iphone 5. All around me, there are people, suitcases, signs, laptops, confusion, jetlag, and an undercurrent of charged excitement in the air. And then there's me - still unable to fully believe that I'm actually on my way to England!

Saying goodbye to my "little" bro, Mike

Well, they just announced that the boarding for my flight has commenced - I'll write once I'm in the UK so until then...cheers mate! :)

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