This morning was the first time ever that I’ve successfully received someone at the airport. Yes, the “successfully” was purposely inserted there, for I’d once driven up all the way to the Bangalore Airport only to find that the wife, who I had gone to receive, had already left by cab (her flight had landed early and baggage come out quickly). Apart from that one attempt in 2011, I’ve never ever gone to receive anyone at any airport – done a lot of receptions (not that kind of reception, silly) in railway stations, though!
So this morning I was again receiving the wife, who has come to town on vacation having completed one term of her MBA. I took the bus to the airport and reached at 8:30, in anticipation of the 8:50 flight, only to see that the flight from Dubai had “landed”, harbouring visions of the last time I’d (unsuccessfully) gone to receive her! Moreover, there was no way for me to reach her, for her Spain number doesn’t work here, and her India number was in my phone (I have a dual SIM phone!)! And so I stood at the arrival gate and waited, hoping that she had not missed me!
And while I was waiting there I realised that waiting for someone at the airport is like waiting for your luggage once you land. You know the flight has landed (in one of the cases, you actually travelled by it). But you know that the time taken for either your luggage or the person you’re waiting for to come is stochastic! And you hope that you’ve had a good day, and that the person/luggage comes asap!
In the luggage case, for a while the baggage belt is empty, and then bags start appearing. That’s when you start getting hopeful, waiting for your bag to arrive! Till there is baggage on the belt, you are at peace, using the restroom and retying your shoelaces and getting hold of a trolley if necessary! But once the baggage is on the belt you start getting anxious, and start harbouring notions of what if your baggage has not arrived!
Receiving your wife at the airport is also similar. Till you know that people from her flight have started to come out, you are at peace. You go get yourself a cup of coffee (have you noticed that coffee at Hatti Kaapi at the Bangalore arrival gate is much cheaper than that at Maiya’s at the other end of the airport? That’s for another blogpost!). You people watch, you observe the structure of the airport and (if you are a first-time receiver like me) observe what the arrival gate looks like from the outside.
And then people start arriving with Dubai Duty Free shopping bags (the wife flew Emirates) and that is the equivalent of the first bag arriving on the belt! And now you become tense, start wondering if the wife successfully made it to the flight (she was connecting via Dubai), and if her baggage made it to the flight, and why she’s taking so long. And then she arrives. It’s the kind of joy you have when you see your bag on the far end of the carousel and can’t wait for it to get to you! And then it arrives and you pick it up (in case of the wife, not literally) and off you go!