It’s a Rush, Bird
“You know… the airport is the only place you can walk around with no shoes, a glazed look on your face, and sleep on the benches and no one judges you.” ― Coriander Woodruff, The Call of the Spectacled Owl
The flight is delayed which means lesser time to perform formalities for the next flight.
As I get into the queue at the security check, I realize that it is just half an hour before the boarding starts and the queue is made up of around 30 people. Do I get ahead of the queue and get it done? It’s such a stupid thing to debate in your head. Maybe I can make it even if I follow all procedures. So I wait. Take out your laptop, separate your wallet and untie your safety shoes right now to save time when your turn comes. It takes 20 minutes to get the checking done. No don’t wear the shoes now. Carry them with you. Understand that time is of essence now. Rush to the Immigration Booth. But before that, find that form which everyone is filling. Where is it? Someone must be distributing it! Look around! Nope, can’t see anyone. Well, see there is something below the glass cases. It must be it. Yeah! Fill in. Fast.
Rush. Never mind the fact that you are walking in just socks. Stand in the queue. Now put on your shoes. See you saved 5 minutes. Check time. In 2 minutes boarding on to the plane will start. 60 people ahead of me in the queue. Shall I beat the queue and go ahead? I have to. No point arguing over it. Start moving. The girl, standing ahead, stares at me. Tell her your flight is just now. She now insists that I go ahead. Say thank you. Move. This other guy looks at you. Tell him. He nods. Move ahead. How many people do I need to explain that this queue is doldrums for me? Move on. 30 more people ahead. This woman is smiling. Tell her. “Thank you, ma’am!” Keep moving. Try not to look at anyone to avoid further explanations. This is the front of the queue. Ask this guy if you can go ahead and do the check. He does not say anything but just looks blankly at you. He should understand Hindi because it’s still India here. Anyways try to tell him in English. No response. Show him the boarding pass. Point out the boarding time on the pass. Ask. Smile. He nods. Go ahead to the counter.
“Aur chote, kahan ja raha hai?” (Where to little guy?”) The immigration officer is jealous of your boyish looks. Apparently. Tell him the name of the foreign land you are flying to. Smile. Be nice to him so he can speed up the process. “It’s work. Office work.” Tell him the name of the company you work for. Smile. Tell him you may miss the flight. He looks at the passport and his watch. He tells you that it isn’t a big deal. He is asking you to look at the camera. Find the camera. Here in the corner. He is asking you to tilt. Tilt. Done. You forgot to smile at the camera. Worse you may be looking anxious. Anyways, now rush.
Find the gate number for the boarding. There it is on the display board. Now move. This is one maze of an airport. Follow the signs on the digital boards. Yeah. You are 15 minutes late for boarding. You will still make it. After all, they delayed the connecting flight. Not you. In fact, you did nothing, except reading that book on Bob Marley and napping a few minutes on the plane. Anyways, rush. This is the wrong gate. Turn around. Run. No, walk briskly. Well, 17 minutes past boarding time. You may as well run. Where the hell is this gate? Rush. There on the board is the gate number that matches the one in your head presently. Run. “Yes ma’am, I got a flight.” “No not this city but the other one.” “What! It’s delayed!” Now take a sigh of relief and reflect on this.
You will be travelling back in time.