Airports Are For Waiting
“On the last leg of our flight back from Vietnam," writes the author of this scintillating collection, "I check my watch and do some fast math: twenty-eight hours since we left the hotel in Hoi An, three flights, five hours of dead time in the old Saigon Airport, three hours lost in a diversion for a medical emergency somewhere near Reykjavik--and still another two hours to JFK. Then waiting for the bags, lining up at Customs, and watching anxiously for our limo before crawling along the Van Wyck Expressway and over the GWB. The body rebels, and the psyche deflates. Crankiness out-muscles common sense. I write in a notebook, This is the end of world travel for me.
Whether it is actually the end or not isn't the issue. It's the intensity of those feelings that interests me. After fifty years of frequent flying--outside of the continental U.S. and often to exotic Third World locations--I am losing my appetite for adventure. Let me rephrase this: Perhaps what I'm losing is my tolerance for frustration. What's happened to my flexibility? Sense of humor? Curiosity? Perspective? How do I account for feeling so grouchy and entitled?" The book itself richly provides her answer.