Life is Not Measured By Airports (Thank Goodness)

11 Jun

Claudia’s Take

US Airways. Flight 837. Thursday.

It’s our flight from San Fran to Tokyo. A whole eleven hours that they split us up. She’s 59 E and I’m a whole number behind her on 60 D.

It’s 45 minutes into the flight and Legend Missionary beside me has been talking non-stop. I think he’s partway through his 25 year old life story now. I smile and nod… “And that’s the year I got my Masters in Computer Engineering…but it wasn’t really a challenge for me, you know?”  He stops talking for a few minutes and I fall asleep.  Woops. I wake a few hours later. He nudges me, “You sure sleep a lot,” “It was a few busy weeks at home,” I say. He nods “ I’ve always been jealous of people who can sleep on planes. Why I remember…”

Bangkok Airport. 14 Hour Layover. Friday.

I’m trying to sleep on these silver spiked chairs. They didn’t make them with comfort in mind for sure. Noises all around me. Nothing I recognize. What have I gotten myself into. I look over at Ervina. She probably reads me mind, she knows how to do that. I’m glad she’s along. Real glad. I sink back down.

A quarter hits the airport floor a few feet away from me. Sweet old Asian lady shuffles after it. “But that’s no quarter.” I’m realizing. My mind is American programmed.  “Toto. I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.”

Phnom Penh. Cambodia. Saturday.

My three month Asia Home. We’ve been exploring. An old stadium three minuets of walking away. We climb to the top. Talk of the future. Talk of the past. Laugh a whole lot. Think a whole lot.

“Oh honey.” Erv says. “This is going to grow us so much.”

And Indeed it will. God Change me.

What the world. I think I miss you. . 

Ervina’s Take

Philly

We are big girls. We’ve got this. We fly every day. All smiles and excitement and unwrinkled clothes, “naive” would be the best word to define us at this point.

San Fran

Five hours later, still cute, still classy. A little nose grease, perhaps, but nothing a coffee can’t cure. We board our plane to find out we’ll be separated for the next eleven hours. Claude beside talkative missionary-to-be Jeremy and me wedged between two men, one who only smiles when the word casino is mentioned (not by me) and the other a family guy who shares his ipad with the little girl in the next aisle. It’s an interesting eleven hours. There’s zero inflight entertainment (except for occasional peeking at Claude’s sleeping beauty eye shield) and I fear falling asleep because every time my pillow nudges Casino Man he jumps three inches out of sleep into defense mode. Seriously, no one sleeps that light and I’m not planning on killing you.

Tokyo

In a fine state of dehydration and general unattractiveness. Claude dons a hat and I solemnly vow to never again allow two layovers in my overseas flight plans. How we killed those three hours of time I forget. Airport life is a blur, much like weddings I hear. Upon boarding the next plane, Casino Man and Family Guy let us switch places so we can sit beside each other for the next six hours. At this point, a sister’s shoulder to sleep on instead of remaining in an upright and locked position is very nearly the happiest thing in the world.

Bangkok

We don’t exactly know which days have passed and why it’s suddenly midnight and when we’re supposed to sleep but we don’t really care. We realize we’re past the point of no return when people give the two Americans sympathetic looks. Classy has long ago ceased to exist and all nerves are in a semi-permanent state of numbness. “I seriously think I injured something,” Claude says as she curls up in a pretzel position for the fiftieth time. We have at least twelve hours of layover ahead of us when we decide to embrace this airport living. Sure the place could use a cozy lounge, a candle or two and forty degrees more warmth, but cheers to journal time, sleeping on our backpacks, and Starbucks banana chocolate chip muffins while watching the sun come up.

Phnom Penh

Fifth airport in three days. By now I’m sure we look exactly like our passport photos. Which is exactly the last thing we want to resemble. When met at the airport, we’d really like to promise them “we don’t usually look like this”  but seeing as the next three months will be sweat-soaked and makeup-less, we’d hate to start out our friendship with a lie.

It’s a great life.
Jet lag is a joke.
We’re bringing a boat home.


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3 Responses to “Life is Not Measured By Airports (Thank Goodness)”

  1. Abby June 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    You guys are FUNNY!
    Glad you made it safely and everthing went (mostly) well. And thank goodness Claude had a picture of me. :]

  2. herb weaver June 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Praying….Gods grace as you get settled in & get adjusted to your new home! Blessing as you serve!

  3. Chelsea M June 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    I’m absolutely loving your blog, girls. Your writing style makes me feel like I’m there with you. Its great sharing in your airport experience. 😉 🙂

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