Saturday, April 3, 2010

Expensive Food and Oodles of Time

The airport experience. Hurry up and wait. This time I have a 5 hour layover. The loudspeaker blares announcements, searching for people about to lose their flight, the security check rings, the internal airport cars honk their horns to make way. Groups of people stagger down the halls with their heavy luggage. The news rumbles across the rafters and emanates from big TV screens scattered across the grounds.

I just finished having an expensive portobello mushroom pizza and overpriced Sam Adams beer at the sports bar at JFK Airport. At least I got to watch some baseball while eating.

I know. Why am I eating pizza in the US? Well, it looks more appetizing than most of the carissimi panini in the airport. I'm still doing the American experience because I even got ID-ed!

Now it's on to surfing the net to kill time and get back in touch with my cyber followers. It's been hard to find the time or best Internet connection to make blogging easy. I am back thanks to T-mobile wi-fi at JFK.

Airports are such an ordeal for ex-pats. They offer the opportunity to go anywhere in the world yet drain us physically, mentally and financially. Getting "home" is never easy. The endless hours of layovers and jet lag to boot at the end of the trip make them dreadful. People turn into numbers and get pre-occupied with bags and passports as they race to distant terminals in the pursuit of the connecting flight and get inspected repeatedly. We study monitors for flights to appear and instruct us about our destiny: gate number, boarding call, wait time. We wander around the shopping area, not wanting to spend any more money but too bored not to go in and look. Our cumbersome bags make us think again, whether it is worth entering into Hudson News or the Prada store. But it's just so boring here!

Soon I'll get onto a plane and hope that there isn't a crying child next to me tonight as I try to sleep. Maybe the movies will be new and interesting for me to watch. What's for dinner, the big event while in-flight? And why do airplane meals always make my stomach feel strange, even when I order a vegetarian menu?

Eventually I will land in Italy and be welcomed by my husband's embrace and the long trip's annoyances will be forgotten. 'Tis travel in 2010 of An American in Padua.

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