Stampedes

My entire idea of what the inside of an airport looks like is based on romantic comedies and the comedic musings of Jerry Seinfeld.  Between the actually decent beef burrito I am eating, the kind and quick service, and the overall pleasantness of it all, I’d have to say that the image I had in mind is a little less than accurate.

My first flight to Washington DC, though only 37 minutes in length, might as well have been to another nation already.  I can’t hope to imagine what first time visitors to the US think of us based on what they see here. Its a little bit like Las Vegas – bits and pieces of the most superficial parts of the US packaged up and shrink rapped for your convenience.  It is tempting to focus on all of these superficial things that are present at Washington Dulles airport, like the best buy vending machine and the three Starbucks I passed on my way to the terminal, but what really draws my attention is the people around me.

Diversity is a very popular buzzword nowadays, but if this airport has anything, that’s it. Between the CEOs behind their brushed aluminum doors in the ‘First Class Suite’,  the multiracial family of 7 across from me ready to board their flight to munich, and the absolute stampedes of red faced individuals, children and luggage loosely attached to their hands and sprawling behind them, I already feel far away from home – and I’m only a car drive away! I know these feelings are naive, but I embrace them because I only get to experience this kind of wonder once.

My flight is delayed a half hour because of air traffic, and thankfully it looks like Hurricane Andrew has taken no toll. I’m so thankful for all of the well-wishes and love that I am receiving from my family and friends, and I intend to keep them in mind on this trip.  Leaving my girlfriend behind this morning was far more difficult than I had anticipated, even considering the briefness of this trip. All that being said, I can barely contain my excitement.  Now I need to focus on somehow making myself fall asleep for this flight.

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