What's with all the running in air travel???
I dislike lines. A lot. For me they always felt like a giant waste of time, time that I’ll never get back. I felt so strongly about this that I was once upon a time a “line racer” trying to out fast walk others on their quest to find the shortest line. For example; often while doing groceries as I would near the end of my shop, and round the last couple of aisles I would keep an eye on the cash registers, trying to pick which one was moving the fastest that day. When I would “miss” and end up in a short line that ended up taking longer, oh man would my impatient nostrils flare. I had no chill in the huffing, and puffing department. I was becoming a line occupier, nightmare. Then the universe really started to mess with me, and the woman who used to be so good at picking the right line, lost her line mojo. Just like that. The harder I focused on trying to pick the line that would go the fastest, appeared to be the shortest, the more I ended up in the line, that for whatever reason, managed to take the most amount of time to get through.
Want to know what I did after that became my new normal? I stopped giving a damn, I let the line thing go, and began just getting in line at the market, the women’s bathroom, or the bar at a concert venue. I relaxed my need, actually, obsession with picking the shortest line, and started to enjoy the times I encountered a line much more. Unless I’m in Toronto, where people don’t like to talk to “strangers” in public, then I’m bored, and sometimes a little annoyed at having to wait, wait, wait. Because, let’s be honest, most of us have somewhere else we’d much rather be, than sitting in a line, we all have places to be.
There is one place in particular that I’ve never, ever understood the rushing the line business, and that is at the airport. Any airport. What the hell is going on with all the people who JUMP out of their seats as if the plane has caught fire, push from where they’re seated to get in front of all the people in the rows ahead of them, only to stand looking at the back of a fellow passenger. I’m confident you’re not all late for a connecting flight. Which means guess what?
We’re all going where you’re going. To a line in order to wait for our turn with the customs officer. From there, we will go to another line, usually the one at the baggage claim. Unless you’re one of those new obnoxious travelers who now bring their entire lives, and kitchen sink onto the aircraft with them. Cuz that’s cool. For only you. Not your fellow travelers who, I don’t know, might want to bring a bag of their own on the flight that they too have paid an exorbitant amount of money for…but this my friends, is an entirely different post.
No the thing that makes me “go hmmm” right now, is the running, or the “wogging” I see people doing from the minute the fasten the seat belt light goes off, all the way through the hallways until I ultimately end up seeing you in line at immigration, at baggage, or on the curb. Because in the end, all that rushing only puts you exactly where you’re going to be in the end anyway, a line. For example, just today Mikaela and I walked like civilized people off our airplane, down the passenger boarding bridge (I know fancy, I googled it, I was just going to call it a gangway, which is also correct!) to go do the customs dance in Miami, when all of a sudden we felt a breeze on our necks. Hot breath on our bare arms…people were “wogging” it with everything they had to get to THE LINE. We just continued walking watching one woman, almost have to bust into a jog just to keep up with her husband.
You know where the three different groups of airport runners ended up? Two directly in front of us, and one behind us. Then when we got into the custom line after doing the automated immigration clearance business, (even though we all still had to speak with an immigration person, so yeah, what’s the deal with that?? Also another post…)you know where they ended up from there? In a line of I’m not even kidding, hundreds of people. You know where the lovely lady put us? In a line with only a dozen other people. So you see, rushing never pays, chilling about lines is where it’s at, trust me, a former line rusher, on this.
So maybe, put your elbows away, slow your roll just a little, and who knows something cool might happen while you stand in line for a few extra minutes…you may get to steal a little extra alone time with yourself, or better yet, the line karma Gods might even advance you into a very short line. Now wouldn’t that be grand.