Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

April 13, 2013

In the Tree House: The ‘Weirdo’ in the airport

By Samantha Stroube Daviss
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Another Daviss adventure is under our belts. Our travel and airport experience went fairly smoothly considering we were travelling with three boys, four suitcases, a stroller and two car seats. But we did make it through everything unscathed, and returned safely.

However, we did have one minor setback on this trip. I won’t go into detail, but I will mention that our 3-year-old is newly potty trained, we were trapped on the rental car shuttle bus for a bit, and my husband had an empty cup…so again, I won’t paint a picture for you, I will just leave that up to your imagination. So maybe our clan was lacking a little dignity and class for those 45 seconds, but another story for the books, and no wet pants. Chalk it up to a life experience.

Remember the character “Pig Pen” from Charlie Brown? That is how I feel when our group comes through the airport — organized chaos. I know what we are doing and where we are going; I typically have everything organized, children accounted for, and all the luggage in order; but we come barreling through like a little dust storm or miniature hurricane, sort of like Pig Pen always did. Full force, and unstoppable. In a way it makes travelling so much easier for us, because they see us coming, so everyone just instantly clears a path for us.

And yes we are typically the ones getting stared at, because of our unruly force of nature. But when you have the opportunity to travel, do you ever really take the time to check out your surroundings? Do you ever really look around at the people sitting next to you at the gate waiting for your plane, or the people in line behind you at security?

Well if you don’t, now is the time to start. There are some really amazing and interesting people in the world. To me, there is no need to go anywhere to see other folks, just go to the airport or bus station and you can entertain yourself for hours. Or if you are starting to feel down about yourself or out of sorts, just go to one of these places and you will feel so much better about yourself than you have in a long time.

My favorite travelers are those that have the Blue Tooth earpiece in on the opposite side from where you are standing in relation to them, and they are carrying on a full blown conversation (what looks to be) with themselves. It always looks to me like they are talking to an imaginary friend.

But the traveler I fear the most is the one that has been living out in the bush, or wherever they decided to “discover” themselves, and then they are headed home to civilization, but decide to return without using the modern conveniences that we offer today, like a shower or deodorant. And then you are stuck next to them for four hours on the next flight. I don’t judge people, but a bar of soap isn’t passing judgment, it’s just reality.

Or how about the weirdo, leaning against the railing, with just a backpack, a sports coat and jeans on, and Teva sandals (with socks I might add), just watching everyone pass by. Is he getting story ideas for his next novel, is he contemplating what to do on his trip he is about to embark on, or is he just a weirdo standing there watching everybody as they walk by?

That is one of my favorite parts of travelling — observing the people around me. They absolutely fascinate me. In fact my husband and I play a game, and make up stories about those around us — like where they are going, where they have been, are they running from the law, or have they just met their mistress on a secret hideaway vacation (masquerading as a business trip)? And then there is me, who will just start talking to a brick wall. I love to talk to people and get to know them, on a temporary level — it makes for such great stories. Plus you never know what you can gain or learn from a complete stranger.

So learn to enjoy your surroundings and those around you. You have no idea how absolutely fascinating people can truly be.

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Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Sundays. She may be reached by e-mail at columnwriter98@hotmail.com. Read her blog at samantha-daviss.blogspot.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? E-mail: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com