My husband dropped me at the airport last Sunday night so I could fly back to New York for my third and final (for a while) week… I was a little frazzled because it was such a quick and busy weekend, so I was still juggling bags, ID, and my boarding pass when I rushed into the security line. Once I got everything settled, I looked up and realized that I was in the line that requires a full-body scan. With all my flying in and out of different cities every week, I had – so far – managed to avoid this annoyance. I laughed to myself and figured I was probably due…
I turned to the two guys behind me and said “y’all realize we’re fixing to get naked right here in the airport, right?”. They looked up and realized which line they were in too and we all got a chuckle. We were joking back and forth (long line – plenty of time) and I mentioned that if they saw my naked body scan on the internet some day, to just remember that the camera adds 50 pounds. I thought they were going to fall over, they were giggling so hard.
We kept shuffling forward in the line, joking around and then it was my turn…. Just as I was about to pull my laptop out of the case and unload all my stuff into those trays, the security guard motioned me over to the other line – with just the old-school metal detector. What-what??? I had psyched myself up and then they were robbing me of my 15 minutes of fame? No fair!
I turned to the guys behind me and asked if they thought I should be insulted that they had pulled me out of the line right before they saw me naked… they laughed and said that they probably realized I would distract the guards with my hotness. Ha – nice guys! So I made it to New York with only minor disrobing… had to take my shoes off, of course.
While I’m in New York, I usually take cabs everywhere or catch a ride with one of the other consultants. This time, I made friends with my very nice 65 year old Egyptian cabbie, Victor. He drove me all week in his big luxurious town-car and we swapped life-stories in 20 or 30 minute increments. He’s a doll and we exchanged phone numbers so I could just text him when I needed a ride and he would know who was asking for him.
Victor was driving me back to the airport on Thursday and on the ride, he took a couple of phone calls. His Mom is very ill and he’s unable to go see her because of the current state of the country. We chatted about that for a while as though we were old friends. Then, his phone made a weird noise and he said he had a text. He opened up his phone and found that someone was asking for a pick-up within the next hour (I’m not his only buddy, apparently). He couldn’t text the guy back, so he handed me his very basic model cell phone and asked me to send a text back to the guy for him.
I said sure and asked him what I should say… he rattles off a long paragraph in his delightfully broken English. My friend Victor is a bit chatty… I listened, biting back giggles at the picture of me having to text this huge paragraph on a phone that doesn’t have a full keypad, and finally said how about if I just reply “I’ll be there”? He thought about it for a few minutes and said “yeah, okay”.
I get tired of traveling sometimes because it does wear me out, but then I think about all the people I meet and the stories I have… and it makes me happy to have this life.