Thanks to the long hours of transit, I have spent a considerable amount of time at airports in India and abroad. Here is how I have managed to survive it.
My airport survival guide - 101
Making plans on how to kill time and doing everything else other than what is planned. Staring at the clock/watch endlessly and sipping mugs of coffee to stay awake and failing miserably.
Letting the pessimistic me wander free. Imagining what can possibly go wrong at the immigration counter in a non-English speaking country at 2am and dozing off only to be woken up by the sound of a running kid screaming.
You guessed it right! Duty free shops it is. Fragrances, watches, chocolates, cosmetics and what not!! Not missing out on the free trials. Freebies if any are taken with pleasure. Failing at converting dollars/euros to rupees (No I wont change!). I aint good at mental calculations 586*68=¿?. :/
Cafe/Restaurant hopping. Food food and more food. While flying abroad I never miss out on the chance to indulge in a drool worthy plate of Chole Bhature/ Paav Bhaji as it is going to be my last Indian meal for a while. On the trip back, my taste buds will fail to forgive me if I dont give it an indian treat as soon as I enter the country. (Well the diet concious me convinces its just for the day and fails miserably for the rest of the months to come)
Sleeping..zzzzzz.....on benches, chairs and sofas with random backpackers sleeping next to you. Especially in the winter if you are stuck in an airport with a well functioning heating (read cooling) system, on a bench with random folks looking at the miniature figure curled up (Yep!! Im an expert in curling up), its lots more fun. You suddenly opening your eyes and yawn just to make them yawn too!! Waking up as a frozen zombie, rushing to the restroom and being taken aback by the image in the mirror.
Striking random conversations. Once with a Russian guy for over an hour using Google translate. Befriending a random guy to be my airport guide.The 65 year old Brit who tagged along for coffee and a long interesting conversation. (He even said he will write about me in his blog!! :)) And an elderly lady who was surprised to see a young, tiny (trust me I hear this a lot) girl travelling alone
Gate hopping, window shopping, bench hopping and repeat. Staring at random people.And once they look back at you, pretending they dont exist. Getting away from a random stalker and bumping into another. Getting completely lost and wandering aimlessly just to reach on time to hear your name being called out in the last and final call segment!!
Registering for free wi-fi and cursing the speed. Deleting the cookies and registering again to see it getting disconnected for the nth time and giving up to start all over again in the next 30 minutes. Locking up electronic gadgets.
Making funny facial expressions just to make the cute little toddler sitting opposite to you smile, not realizing that my expressions are far from funny. And once the little munchkin starts crying, vanishing from the scene tuo escape the mothers wrath.
Waiting to see the silent co-passengers transform into warriors (not just in India) on hearing the boarding call. Waiting for the last few folks to board so as to board in peace and the moment you join 3-5 people appear from nowhere.
This among countless other things makes me smile for the rest of the trip!!