Friday, March 20, 2015

Transit lounge or bust!

March 19, 2015 Incheon Airport Transit Lounge 4:50 AM

It is quiet here. There are about 12 of us here camped out on these ultra-comfy lounge chairs that remind me of the ones you see on TV in a psychiatrist’s office. Maybe that’s the goal, to get us to lie down on them, get comfortable, and open up to one another. Because that is what seemed to have happened here. When I arrived, after a very long, uneventful but entertaining (movies! movies! and more movies!) flight, all I wanted to do was just find a place to lie down and sleep. I found one that was open next to another woman and asked her if it was available. She smiled warmly and invited me to take it.

After a few minutes she asked “Do you think it is safe here? I mean, do you think our belongings will be safe while we sleep?”

“I think so.” I replied

“Okay then, do you mind watching my things while I make a phone call?”


I just had to laugh to myself. That quickly, trust was established. I'm not sure if it was because we we were both women, but it seemed like the most natural thing. She returned and offered me some of her muffin. We ended up chatting about where we were traveling to (her to her home country of Pakistan to care for an ailing mother), about our work, and finally, we introduced ourselves to one another. We made a pact that we would keep an eye on each other’s bags. Later, as I awakened from a great nap, she informed me that she had been asked to keep an eye on another lounge-mate’s belongings and to watch another’s child, while those people went to get a shower. Now I digress, shower? Really, you can take a shower here?! This place is like the Hyatt of airports! Free showers, huge transit lounge, art exhibits (can we say Gangnam Style?), lots of good food, and great company! I wouldn’t trade this for a $125 per night lonely transit hotel room for anything. And yes, I was able to sleep! I unpacked my sleeping bag, crawled in, and voila, it’s like camping! Albeit, camping with all the amenities around you!

Right now, I hear the chatter of the young child who is definitely operating on a different time schedule. Every time I have awakened, i could hear him chatting with his mom. Sweet, but oh my, his mom must want to get some sleep! While the airport is pretty much shut down, people are arriving. It’s still quiet, but I’m noticing the snores, the deep breathing, the cooing of a baby, the bings of texts on someone’s phone (she’s popular!) and the occasional fart. In just a couple of hours, the restaurants and shops will be opening, people will be getting up and will start heading to their flights. We will part ways, but the memory of this night will stick with me for a long time. Now I’ll try to get a couple more hours of sleep (or not, as the child is now in play mode big time!), then on to the next leg of this journey. See you in Kathmandu!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So happy to read this. I guess a hotel room isn't really needed, eh? I look forward to more entries!