Yes, having established that everyone including me is a little crazy-lets talk about something which makes everyone a little nervous- Airports. (This Post is about anxiety in social settings not First world dilemmas)
Now, dying in a crash or sudden terrorist attacks are a constant nagging fear but they are somehow not as crucial as the following conversations I have with myself. Please do not be alarmed or feign surprise at the knowledge that I have conversations with myself.
Step 1. Show Passport and Ticket at the entrance
Oh man…My face does not look like this. This police guy thinks I’m trying to impersonate someone else. He’s not going to let me go. Why’s he looking at me like that!
Ok ma’am- go!
Step 2. Check-in Baggage:
Wait, why is this person smiling so deviously. Are my bags over-sized or overweight. will I have to open my luggage in front of everyone and transfer things into my cabin-bag? This weight limitation is so stifling. Will someone help me if I can’t lift and place my bags onto the conveyor belt?
You’re good to go Ma’am, her’s your boarding pass and tag for cabin bags.
Step 3: Immigration/Passport Control
Why is my line the only one that never moves. Did that woman and her entire family just get to go ahead of me because she has a baby? Wait, I just let this old lady pass and now her battalion of relatives want to go with her?
Me:Hi! How are you doing today?
Wow this person hates me like one hates reaching cores of apples to realise that there are worms in it. He/She definitely thinks something’s fishy.
Officer: Are you traveling all alone? Whom are you going to meet?
Why is this barrage of questions scaring me? I’m 20- I can travel all alone on an airplane with a hundred other people and travel from one major city to another without crying. It’s you who’s scaring me with your crazy mustache and nonchalant gaze as you flip through my entire life history that is my Passport.
Me: Yes, to meet my parents. My face hurts from smiling so much and not looking menacing-the least you can do is acknowledge my effort with a nod.
Officer (Nods)- Go
Step 4: Security!!
Okay breathe. This is silly, calm your nerves, you no longer have to remove clips, you have no liquids in your handbag and no laptop you need to take out, you are wearing non-leather shoes and kept you phone inside the bag. Why isn’t my bag coming through- have they stopped the carousel to specifically single out the contents of my handbag. I knew I should have kept my camera separately. Had I taken the sanitizer bottle out? Is there a pair of scissors in there?
Officer:OK madam- thankyou!
Step 5: Boarding
Is this my gate? Do I feel too cold here? How long before we can board the plane? I’m always too early and the passengers from the previous flight are sitting at my Boarding gate.
Boarding has begun. Finally the torture ends. Oh no! I have to now smile and share pleasantries with the cabin crew and if I get someone chatty sitting next to me. WHY????????????
As I repress the fears and shivers of boarding on one side, I soon will have to face the exact same thing on arriving at my destination with the added responsibility of identifying my bags. But traveling is when you observe human nature at its best and its worst, be it an irate air-hostess or a thoroughly confused foreigner from a country with a fancy name. Traveling alone- is an exhilarating quirk all of us should experience, no matter what the mode of transport.