The excitement of the next destination, the timeless universe, or the multi-cultural slash lingual environment fascinates me in many ways about airports around the world. Passengers seem to be in a standstill in the time gap which freezes life only to begin again at full speed once boarding occurs. However, it seems to continue for the regular business person or the airport employees or the one’s with children. For a single woman who has only the priority of getting to her destination in one piece, time is nil. It’s completely fine if you get a beer at five o’clock in the morning because you’re on the outskirts of reality. It’s okay if you go to sleep on the floor or those connected chairs because there, in the multiverse melting pot, general sleeping habits have disappeared. I tend to bring a few things to do (laptop, journal, book, etc) but I always tend to people watch, listen to music, get a snack and find a nice big window to watch the planes come in and out.
Also, finding out that I have a longer layover is like Christmas because I enjoy meandering towards my gate and seeing what the airport has to offer. I was recently at Portland International Airport and on my way to my gate, I came across a coffee stand called Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Naturally being in Portland, I had to try it and I had also been up since three o’clock in the morning Chicago time. Do I have to justify getting a cup of joe? I had the Woodblock Mocha made with Woodblock chocolate and locally roasted coffee beans from Stumptown and I also purchased a chocolate croissant. Needless to say, it was delicious and if I ever get the chance to go back, I’ll go. Give me all the choco-latte!
Maybe it was growing up around strangers from around the world or getting my degree in Linguistics or going to a new destination that intrigues me about airports and the multicultural time warp that they are, but no matter what it is, I feel comfortable there. I feel extremely lucky growing up with exchange students and being an exchange student because as an adult, I’m more appreciative and more curious of cultures and languages. I hope that more people from this side of the world will travel and experience these incredible cultures. Get out there!
Audere est Facere.
As I sit across from my roommate, I eat a muffin and and drink a Chai tea latte. The ramblings of passersby come and go. Billy Cassidy’s Bye Bye Miss American Pie goes in and out of ear range with closer noises drowning it out. I’m across the street from the river at one of the best local coffee houses in Reno. An older gentleman plays his guitar for strangers as they stroll down the path. He wears a knitted beanie and a cargo jacket and has white long hair and scraggly beard. A little dog goes up to him with his owner to listen while his owner speaks to the man with the guitar. At the Hub Coffee Roasters, you have the eclectic- coffee person experience with the outdoorsy side of Reno.
Deoh comes up on the playlist going in and out as traffic comes and goes. The man and his guitar slowly progress through a song with a metronome. Birds start chirping in an unknown location amongst the color-changing trees. Deep breaths in an ever growing hot sun, I begin to relax. A man with a stereo over his shoulder skates by every so often along Riverside Drive. His music blasts in the atmosphere making people look up from their devices or conversations. I look at my roommate smiling and we chuckle, rolling our eyes, and we go back to reading and writing. Every once in a while, the smell of the river comes to my nose but goes away with the smell of roasted coffee beans.
Elton John’s Tiny Dancer plays with gusto and a soft wind goes through the trees. Cars drive by trying to go the speed limit as the driver glances out to the outdoor patio to see if they know anyone. New people roll up on their bikes to get a treat.
The man and his guitar starts to play American theme songs such as America, the Beautiful and The Star Spangled Banner. He flows into each one seamlessly. Journey comes on at the Hub mixing with the laughter and chatter of the tables around us. A couple with a baby and a dog speak with a realtor next to us. Smells of people’s cologne and perfume waft near my nose with every rush of breeze.
As you walk into the Hub, you see a small counter with an espresso machine, the register, and a clear display case for baked goods. The three baristas dance around each other to complete customer’s orders. The shorter menu also makes for a great experience so you don’t get the overwhelming sensation you get at Starbucks.
Looking up from my writing, I notice new people and their dogs walk by, a familiar female runner running back to where she came. The sun going behind the building which makes it chilly. It doesn’t make a difference in the atmosphere around me. The man and his guitar keeps playing, runners keep running, and the Hub keeps roasting coffee beans.