Thoughts from an airport
'We kindly request that you go to your gate number as announced,' requests the standard autobot that has no face of its own. I've been sat in the departures waiting to return from my study abroad programme for roughly half an hour now and, much as I enjoy all things Dutch, I'm getting rather tired of staring at the wooden tulips lined up in neat rows in the shop across from me. There is always a sadness to leaving which, try as I might and travel as I do, I never seem to be able to fully dispose of. This is probably because goodbye to a place which has been my home for the past few months is much more difficult to accomplish than waving ciao to Italy after a few days wandering the point of Michelangelo or 24 hours traversing Paris.
The smell of oranges is everywhere in Holland - they're very big on fresh juice, in fact you can pay a machine to squeeze you a glass of OJ on your way to work at most good quality supermarkets. Schiphol is no different and the smell is making me hungry. If there are two things I am going to miss, it is this and the fresh tomatoes (might sound weird, but trust me on this you have to try them!). I can't settle long enough to read my book or to make plans of all the things I'm going to do when I get home. As a natural worrier, my head is instead going through the list of things packed trying to make sure that nothing has been missed and cementing the details seems the only way to do so.
To console myself I people watch and make up stories for what I see. There are people laughing, crying and most common of all, sleeping. How do people sleep in airports? I've never been one for it myself. Even when I'm trying to get to sleep after a long and busy day somehow I am still the little insomniac that could not. From outside I can hear the same noise I've heard for the past half a year from my bedroom window: Planes taking off and soaring off in all different directions across the globe. One man is running because he's clearly late and automaton robot voice lady keeps popping back up to call a seemingly equal invisible passenger back to reception. Maybe they left their socks in security.
Much as I hate goodbyes, I like that in airports there is so much not knowing. Again I re-instate my continuous need to worry. This is the one place where it's seemingly alright for me not to worry, though worry I might. This is the most out of control of things I've been in weeks, and perhaps that's why I have the desire to type like this. There is no urge to sit still, only an urge to keep fidgeting, thinking, and moving. To sit still seems a punishment far more than a way to relax. The crowds of people ebb and flow, sometimes a whole herd of them fleeting towards gate H, others a lonely captain with a small bag or a waiter with a mop. It seems I am not the only one who does not like to keep still for movement never stops here. 24/7 you'll find the most awake population on this planet in its airports.
On that note, my gate has just been announced. I'd better join the queue.