Hello. I’m typing this on March 11 mid-afternoon here at a lounge in Newark Airport (in New Jersey), a few hours before our flight back to the UK. I think it’ll make for blog post on arrival “home” in England.
Around us on the sofas and chairs in the busy room are assorted people, some “type type typing” or “tap tap tapping” their mobile devices feverishly. I’m using my iPad with its Bluetooth keyboard. My wife across from me is on her Microsoft Surface. Some travelers are conversing quietly. Some kids I see are also engrossed on I-somethings. Some people are eating. Others are watching TV. (Nancy Reagan’s funeral is on the big set.) A couple I see in a corner are snoozing.
Sitting a few feet away from me is an American couple in their 20s to young 30s. Understand, I’m not trying to single out my fellow countrymen here – this lounge is full of other Americans. These two, however, seem to think everyone else has to hear what they’re yammering about.
She is occasionally speaking and laughing so loudly it’s distracting. And she has a penetrating, high-pitched tone. Worst of all she’s spouting mostly inane junk to her male companion. (“Oh, my gosh. I’m still wearing the same glasses as fifteen years ago. [Giggle, giggle.] Really. Yeh, yeh.”) Wait, I just heard her make some observation about Edinburgh…. Scotland…. dear God, does that mean she may be flying to Britain? On the same flight? Please, no!
The man was barely audible initially. However, in the last few minutes he has finished off a couple of Samuel Adams’s beers. So naturally now he has gradually matched her in conversational and laughter volume.
What is it with some travelers? Do they not notice what’s happening around them? Or do they just not care? Or are they that lacking in self-awareness?
Why does there always seem to be “one”? Or, in this case, a pair of “ones”?
* * *
And now it’s back to “the now” – March 12. We’ve flown and landed at Heathrow, and after an early morning today on the London Underground’s Piccadilly Line – including where it’s above ground….
….we’ve made it back.
Oh, that couple in the lounge? It turned out they weren’t on our flight.
However, in the long line at the TSA security last night, near us were a group of about a dozen college age American women of varied ethnicities – several white, several black, several perhaps Latino. They were all traveling together apparently on some group trip. It turned out they were on our flight.
As the line for security inched forward painfully slowly, overhearing them genuinely excited about their trip was refreshing. They interacted with one another so soft-spokenly, graciously and maturely, frankly we could not get over them. All in all, they were a true credit to our country.
And I hope you’re having a good weekend wherever you are. 🙂