Thursday, May 28, 2009

Airports

One is catching up, the other has shot past

I stopped at the Kaipara Lookout on my way to Auckland on Saturday with food scraps for the pretty chook but she was nowhere to be seen. I didn't take that as a bad omen about my son's homecoming the next morning, just assumed she was happily chilling not far away. And no, not in some mean person's deep freezer but in the fashion of my younger son, who has "laid back" down to a fine art.

There were no second calls early Sunday morning when my daughter and I arose to go to the airport to meet Bernie off his flight from Buenos Aires. Just excited mother and sister exclaiming at the beauty of the sunrise and hoping Bernie was getting a view of it as he approached home.

Justine and I both love airports. They have to top the list of people watching spots. I can't think of any other that comes close. Other than Bernie's flight, people off flights from Seoul and Singapore were also being processed. True to form, I was watching a passenger off Bernie's flight who had emerged some time earlier when Justine nudged me and said, "Here he is!"

Little fish hooks tugged at the heart! Justine commented he had lost some weight, all I saw was his smile. Mothers check for the darndest things, don't they? With me its the eyes, are the eyes clear, bright and happy? Do the eyes match the smile? Yep in all cases. My boy is good.

Our little reunion would have passed unnoticed by the majority of others in the waiting area, except perhaps for the avid people watchers.

But there were two others in the time we waited that really touched me. The first I might not have noticed had not the greeter not been sitting behind me and I heard his whispered, "Mama" as he leapt to his feet and rushed forward to greet a very old looking Asian lady. To me Asian ladies hide their age very well, so I do indeed think this lady was quite ancient. An airport ground staff was pushing her trolley for her. Mama's boy bowled down the Exit chute, taking Mama completely by surprise because she didn't see him coming and have time to brace her frail old body for his embrace. I muttered, "Easy, son!" under my breath, scared he was going to hurt her! But he recovered himself quickly, took charge of her trolley, tucked her arm into the crook of his right arm and sedately escorted her from the terminal. But his head was inclined to the right down over the top of her head and I imagined her was still embracing her emotionally. A touching scene!

The other was simply joyous beyond description. I will try but to try to capture the joyful energy of the little boy concerned would be like trying to contain the little man himself. I'd say he was about three, topped with blonde curls, accompanied by a heavily pregnant Mum. Mum leaned down and said something to the little fella. He stopped, looked, spotted his Dad and took off. Ran, laughing, with a little hoppity skip every four or five paces, curls bouncing. Launched himself at his Dad who lifted him up, their laughter blending into one, hugged him then spun him around in the air. But not for long, his little legs started kicking madly to be put down only to start running on the spot. We could only catch words here and there. "C'mon. Let's go! Let's go!"

And away they went, hand in hand, Dad trotting to keep up with the little bloke with his hoppity skip run. And Mum still trudging along, not yet to the greeting area, looking heavy and tired - but happy!

I'm still wondering about the guy I was watching when Bernie appeared. Did someone turn up to meet him? Was he being met by the young Brazilian man who had flopped down beside me in the waiting area, slapped a sign to his chest, had a few words with me, yawned and prepared to go back to sleep. He meets this flight every week, very casual about it. But the young traveller hadn't glanced in our direction as he'd come through the Exit door, so had not seen his sign. Another sign on the opposite side, attached to one of the desks chauffeurs use to put up the names of their customers, displayed a name that was obviously South American and he had headed toward that. He kept wandering away and looking around - me sending mental messages, "Look over here! Look at this sleeping guy!" Then he'd wander back and look at the sign again. It was hand printed but somehow he seemed to be hoping it would change and he would see his name. I hope they both found who they were meant to find!

Our wait was a bit prolonged. Traffic slowed, the waiting area was emptying. I almost agreed with Justine when an extremely handsome Latin man went past and she said, "They've got him. They always think he looks dodgy. We'll be here all day. Let's take that one instead!"

But he eventually appeared and explained he had thought he was in for the third degree coming through Customs, etc. He had the dirty shoes he'd worn on a farm in his luggage, so he had to wait while his shoes were chemically cleaned. (Tip: If you want a really good shoe shine, tick that box, they do a marvellous job of cleaning your shoes!) Then the officer started asked dozens of questions about what he did in Brazil, why he was visiting home, etc. Turns out the officer is going to Brazil soon and wanted a job. Bernie gave him his card.

The reunion at Leone's house was a little more uninhibited. I wanted to get photos of the look on Bernie's face when he saw Michael towering over him but got caught up in the moment. And, of course, within minutes it was as if he'd never been away with him scruffing with the kids and annoying hell out of Jami.

Grrr...."You're asking for it, Uncle Bernie!"

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pauline!!! Oh thank you for visiting me today and yes.......please join our "Friday Shoot-Out" gang!! I was so excited to see your comment. We have beautiful Ann in Auckland and that's the whole concept. We all want to see where you live......where everyone lives. It's like a free look at the world and it's beauty!! Please look on my buddy Gordon's blog - 'Friday Shoot-Outs From Florida' to see a complete list of shooter's and their towns, cities, states, countries etc. Look at a few gang member's snaps. Everyone interprets every subject differently.
    You will meet the lovliest people and see the most beautiful things from all around the world. You take beautiful snapshots.
    I loved your story and the pics.......that one with the "You're asking for it, Uncle Bernie is priceless!!
    I too love airports. Customs? You're right...BUH.
    Comment back and let me know.....please say yes!!
    Take good care and..........

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

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