Wednesday, July 25, 2007


At the airport, the only time I have to reflect these days. This is from a couple of weeks ago but I've been "totally consumed" and forgot to put it up. From the outside, I somehow look American. I’m wearing a non descriptive solid white polo with the collar popped when it wants to cooperate and my standard, non-marked Lucky Brand jeans rolled up twice. Flip flops on the bottom, a brown leather belt in the middle and sun glasses on the top. Topped off with silver studs, my silver anchor necklace and a silver bracelet. As I did not see any business colleagues this morning, I took the liberty of dressing casual. I think I look like your standard traveler but still shop workers speak to me in English, even when I sprechen Deutsch. I carry a Longchamp bag which is European in origin (although I bought mine in the Miami airport). I had a black rolling suitcase which I was forced to check in Madrid, but that airport is a whole other story. I opened my bag to take out my lap top and realized just how sophisticated the inside of my bag looks. I’m carrying a lap top, a planner, a leather airline ticket holder, my purse, a book and the Europe edition of the Financial Times. I smiled and then realized I was sitting in front of the wrong gate so I had to pause and get that sorted. My ticket says gate G24 so when I was let off at gate G16, I walked to the left a few gates, stopping at a few shops along the way and then waited patiently as the flight before mine boarded. Once that flight left, the marquee changed to Egypt and that’s not where I want to be. There was a notice scrolling under of a Berlin flight that moved, also not mine so I went to the counter, the first woman directed me to her colleague who sent me to Gate 3 after reprimanding me for not using the electronic monitor – sorry I trusted the gate printed on my ticket to be correct! Anyway, I just completed a journey of 11 gates which is actually quite a distance. My first gate was in the center of the airport, surrounded by small cafes and fancy shops. As I walked I noticed the smokers area was a glass box complete with a roof and several smoke eating devices inside, very impressive. As I walked further away from the shops to my new gate, I started smelling smoke. I soon realized my nose was not lying the next smoking area was literally open space with a few ashtrays and a large yellow sign depicting a cigarette hanging from the ceiling. This reminded me that I am still in Europe. As I sit now, about 50 yards from that last smoking area I can still smell smoke. Why bother? Time for boarding. Will finish later…

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