Thursday, August 12, 2010

When love fades...

I don't think I like airports any more.

I used to be convinced that working in an airport would be some kind of dream come true. Just imagine being around travelers eight hours a day! In those eight hours I could meet people headed for Stockholm, Riyadh, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv...mmm, all the celebrities and rich people and beautiful twentysomethings I'd see on a daily basis would be so worth it. In the past, whenever I traveled I would excitedly run around the terminals and check out all the international departures. Ooh this plane is going to Tokyo, I wanna go! Oh man look at the Lufthansa check-in queue, everyone's over six feet tall! Airports represented freedom from routine, fresh starts, reunions, and the possibility of boundless romance between strangers. An airport was in some way a safe haven of ultimate anonymity, a free zone where you could reinvent yourself and be whoever you wanted. The entire travel experience was defined by the magic of the airport and the thrill and excitement of being on the move.

Now I'm sitting at JFK (a least favorite airport) surrounded by hundreds of exhausted people from all over Asia who like me are sick of travel before they've even made the first boarding announcement. Miho is recovering from a stomach ulcer and is sleeping next to me and there are crying babies and children running around and everyone around me is speaking some language that sounds like variations of cats dying or mating. I personally feel a bit bloated and dehydrated and minorly carsick from the stressful stop and go traffic between Albany and NYC. My makeup looks terrible as a result of crying while saying goodbye to my parents at the Greyhound station and my eyes are swollen. While getting in line for the TSA security check, the guy checking boarding passes yelled "NIHAO NIHAO" at me despite the fact that my UNITED STATES OF AMERICA passport says KOREA on the inside.

This isn't magical at all. This is like the stage in a relationship when you start thinking about other people during sex and impatiently ask "are you done yet?" Something good needs to happen.

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