For reasons that I have been unable to comprehend, I always get the feeling when I come out of an airport that there will be someone there to meet and greet me. I scan the eyes of the people waiting there to see if there is anyone I recognise but it is always to no avail. From the drivers who are meeting their guests with pieces of card or paper with names typed, written or literally scrawled, to the parents and grandparents eagerly surveying the faces themselves for long missed children and grand children.
The opening scenes of Love Actually (if you haven’t seen it – do) really struck a chord with me. All that expectation, relief, hope, hugs, kisses, screams of joy and laughter – it was a stark reminder of what I was missing.
I think that, subconsciously, I get caught up in the collective expectation on the other side of the arrival doors and the people leaving baggage claim with me. We invariably arrive at our destination tired, bedraggled, agitated, irritated and hungry.
We always travel as light as possible and have a small collection of suitcases dragged off the carousel. But we also have two car seats, camera bag, and assorted hand luggage and rucksacks. All those years of filtering out what we don’t need in the cases has mysteriously meant that we take twice as much onto the plane with us. Strange.
I then rummage around my pockets for my wallet so that I can access some dollars or my credit card so that I can get one of the luggage trolleys. How they can charge $4.00 to use one of these is beyond me. Once loaded up with it’s misshapen cargo, I inevitably wrestle with my cart that only want to travel diagonally and not straight lines.
And so our rag tag family of five trudge glumly towards the signs saying car rental. We should be holiday happy and expectant but we leave that to the others behind us and find the shuttle bus to the car rental companies offsite location where we unload all our stuff off the cart and onto the bus to go through the whole process again once we get to the car rental place. What joy!
But does this put us off travelling? Of course not – the means certainly justify the end.
And so, with all the love in arrivals, does anyone offer to help? Nope. Understandably they are caught up in their own little worlds of reconciliation……… Maybe one day it will be me!!