Author Topic: Airport Adventures  (Read 176 times)

xSilverPhinx

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Airport Adventures
« on: June 11, 2019, 03:04:03 AM »
Brasília International Airport

Last day of the Congress on Brain, Behavior and Emotions and as I made my way to the airport in a taxi I was replaying memories in my mind -- both of recent few days and remote, from when I lived in that city more than 12 years ago. I missed seeing the common sights of the Brazilian savannah -- soil redder than I had seen anywhere else, trees growing from it with twisted trunks and large red termite mounds that looked like they had sprouted from the ground, like fortresses scattered across the landscape. I had always thought the red soil was fascinating...if Mars ever were terraformed it would probably look a little like Brasília.

It was around 4 p.m. as I got out of my taxi, collected my bags and proceeded to a check-in totem so that I could print my boarding pass. The flight was scheduled to leave at nine thirty p.m. I looked outside to see the sun was still glowing in the sky and sighed as I looked for an empty seat near a power outlet so that I could charge my phone.

The Waiting Game is not one most 'normal' people like to play, and much less play in an airport. Games are supposed to be fun, and this was anything but. I watched the sun go down as the sky went from clear blue to pink and orange hues. Finally it was dark outside and I went into the passenger terminal to board my flight. 

Guarulhos International Airport: the second busiest airport in Latin America and located near the most populous city in Brazil.

I arrived in Guarulhos near midnight after what had probably been the scariest flight of my life. The Chilean company aircraft was old and made all sorts of noises as it took off, was airborne, and landed. The loud, buzzing engines sounded like they were going to explode and every now and then buzzed like they were rebelling against keeping the aircraft in the air. More than once I had to close my eyes and calmly wish my heart stopped pounding like it wanted to break free from the chest that caged it.

Constantly darting my eyes to the crew for any signs of fear, I had almost two hours to negotiate with the FSM and make all sorts of promises. Oh FSM, I thought, please let me live to kiss the floor! I promise I will never procrastinate or ask for an extension again!

The FSM was kind, blessed be the FSM. We landed all in one piece and unscathed. I left the aircraft.

Then the Waiting Game: Hardcore Mode began. 
Give no mercy to your fear.



xSilverPhinx

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Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2019, 04:00:02 AM »
(Continues...)

Okay, I thought. I can do this! I glanced at the time and the despair started to set in. I can't do this, how can any sane person wait 8 hours in an airport to board their next flight home? The feeling sunk in and I realised what I had gotten myself into.

I started walking. It is a large airport and I figured walking from one end to the other a couple of times would not only help some time pass but let me see where my terminal was located. Off I went on my recon and time-killing mission.

Twenty or so minutes later, I had not only found where my terminal was, but realised just how empty one of the busiest international airports was getting at that hour. All the shops and restaurants had closed, save for MacDonald's and there were less and less people scurrying around as time passed. I was both starving and borderline sleepwalking so I ordered an edible styrofoam resembling a burger from MacD's and ate it. The fries were cold, last of a batch that had been fried lord knows how long before unlucky me came along. The fast-food restaurant began closing soon after I ate and once again I had nowhere to stay where there was a reasonable amount of people.

It was 10 degrees Celsius and I hadn't come prepared for a cold night. I had thought wandering around some more and looking for a place to rest would do me some good, but in the hour and a half that had passed up until that point I was approached by three beggers. Since I had valuable goods with me, not to mention all my documents, I decided I would not try and find a place there where I could put my feet up and hopefully catch a few winks. Sleeping outside the terminal in an empty airport was not safe, so I went to the passenger-only area. 

There I found a place where I could rest with some privacy, facing towards the window where planes were coming and going outside. I lay on the bench, using my backpack as a pillow and hugging my carry-on so that it would still be there in case I fell asleep. I finally closed my eyes and allowed myself to rest.

Since very passerby and sudden noise behind me alerted me and left me feeling vigilant, I was unable to sleep. Still, closing my eyes helped recharge my batteries. I lay there in the cold until about 5 a.m. and when the shops started to open and people started pouring in I had some extraordinarily priced non-extraordinary breakfast which included a large cup of coffee before going to the gate where I would board the plane at seven fifty.   

The rest went smoothly. The plane did not sound like it was falling apart and I arrived home later that day, a day I took off so that I could sleep. And boy, sleep I did.

I survived the odious Waiting Game! :yes!:
Give no mercy to your fear.



jumbojak

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Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2019, 04:18:33 AM »
Either of these would make a wonderful short film. My waiting games have been in hospitals recently. I'm not sure which I would detest more.
 

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Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 06:19:01 AM »
Quote
I missed seeing the common sights of the Brazilian savannah -- soil redder than I had seen anywhere else, trees growing from it with twisted trunks and large red termite mounds that looked like they had sprouted from the ground, like fortresses scattered across the landscape. I had always thought the red soil was fascinating...if Mars ever were terraformed it would probably look a little like Brasília.
--xSilverPhinx


I agree with jj, they would make a wonderful short film.  :tellmemore:

“I've had several "spiritual" or numinous experiences over the years, but never felt that they were the product of anything but the workings of my own mind in reaction to the universe.” ~Recusant

Dark Lightning

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Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 03:02:03 PM »
You write well! I like your story, though I don't envy your experience.

Davin

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Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 03:07:37 PM »
I liked those posts. Very good stories about something I'm am very reasonably not excited about.

Whenever I have to go somewhere to wait, I always try to do something productive or relaxing with the time. The problems for me are that those places where I have to wait are not good for either. I try to read, but the noises and activity around me make that strenuous. I try to play games and the same things make trying to relax playing the same. Drawing is the same thing on top of not liking people to see what I'm drawing until I'm done with it... mostly because I toss out many drawings that are crap so I don't want people to see. Sitting still and closing my eyes drives me to tears of boredom. So air travel to me is always a terrible experience. Driving is better, even if I'm doing most of the driving.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

No one

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Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 04:31:48 PM »
Where I come from, congress and brain are not allowed in the same sentence.

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Airport Adventures
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2019, 08:59:47 PM »
 :blush: Thanks guys! Just getting people to read a double wall of text is a plus, heh.  ;D
Give no mercy to your fear.