It’s 11:30 pm, I am waiting at a domestic terminal of an Indian airport to receive my spouse whose flight is scheduled to arrive at 12:00 am. This is not the first time I am at an airport waiting to receive someone, but this time is different because I am typing this post sitting at the airport’s arrival area. I arrived at the airport almost 15 minutes back and have to wait another half an hour, so thought of writing this post to paralyse my boredom. I prefer writing a blog post rather than playing video games at public places, maintains my mood.
The process of receiving someone at airport starts with planning my travel. I prefer to plan to reach the airport at least an hour before, taking into account the possible traffic clogs. Before commencing my travel I always make sure of carrying few important things like a mobile phone with internet facility, drinking water, biscuits and my wallet loaded with enough cash to deal with my transit cost to the airport and return. Gradually you will know how this mini packing of mine before my journey proves effective.
On reaching the airport, first I check the arrival terminal to which my guest will be arriving and move towards it. Then I look for a flight arrival information display screen, near which I try to make my perimeter fixed and generally don’t go more than 100 meters (roughly) away from that.
After locating the display screen I try to scan other people who also have come to receive their guests at the airport. Some of them are continuously standing in front of the display screen and continuously staring at it. Others might be changing their vision alternatively between their wrist watch and the display screen and continuously fidgeting in the nearby area. Another set of individuals, may prefer to seat in the shops in the airport premises and have coffee, sandwich, pizza etc.
However, I don’t prefer to do any of these while waiting at the arrival area except that I look at the display screen frequently expecting an early arrival of the flight, which doesn’t happen always. I prefer to take a gentle walk in the nearby area and return to the display screen every about 5 to 10 minutes to check the recent update of my target flight. When I am tired of walking or if that is not possible because of excessive crowd or my mood is not congruent for a brisk walk I would simply seat somewhere with my smartphone and start poking google with variety of searches that itches my brain at that time. But today is different; I have shown some mercy to the search engine and thought of writing this post for my blog.
In the meantime good smell of coffee was pouring on the nerves of my nose from the nearby food shop. The shop sells variety of things besides coffee like cakes, noodles, sandwiches etc. I never, till date, bought any food item from shops at airport premises in India. Reason has always been the cost. I am never convinced with the high price of food in the Indian airports. In USA, I found the prices of edible stuff quite reasonable but never in India. In India, outside the airport an average cup of tea or coffee price may vary from 6 to 20 bucks maximum but inside airports it will become probably in the range from about 200 to 600 bucks. Similarly, the price of another popular Indian snacks ‘samosa’ might be sold at about 5 to 6 times higher price in the airport, compared to the outside market. So are in case of south Indian dishes like idli, dhosa etc. Therefore, I carry biscuits with me that fits in my pocket and suits my wallet.
It has been almost 10 minutes, since I am busy typing this post at the airport’s waiting hall. The display screen is acknowledging that the flight for which I am waiting is expected to be arriving at correct time; this brought a smile in my face, just twenty more minutes of waiting.
But how does it feel if you learn that the flight’s arrival will be an hour or more late. This can be quite depressing at times. Probably this is the time you are ready to forgive your wallet and go for the restaurants or food shops at the arrival area. In such situations some people will start visiting the display screen more frequently and continuously check their watch until their eyes are tired. A partner at the airport can be helpful to conquer the depressed feeling largely by engaging in a talk. Me, in such situation would make phone calls to near and dear ones to let them know about my latest status in the airport and buy some support for maintaining my mood to wait longer. Sometimes, I would prefer typing a post or taking a brisk walk in the nearby premises.
Now I am yawning, feeling bored to type anymore. Also the chair is not comfortable at all, as there is no back support. Oh, my phone is ringing, well it’s my spouse calling. I understood that the flight has landed. Feeling lucky today as the flight touched the airport 10 minutes before its scheduled arrival time. Let me go for the prepaid taxi counter before the passengers of the flight come out, once the passengers start coming out the que will be long.
I can see my spouse approaching the arrival gate, so I must stop typing now and receive her. Dear reader, thanks for being with me and sharing part of my boredom.