I am a people watcher, have been for as long as I can remember. Traveling presents numerous and varied occasions to watch people. Airplanes and airports are the best! I really do love airports, well except for O'Hare and Newark. I REALLY hate Newark but that is for another post.
I love looking at what people do while on an airplane. Some people talk for the entire flight, and not quietly I will tell you. The woman behind me and on the other side of the aisle talked for 2.5 hours. Oh the poor person sitting next to her. None of us really needed to know about her latest illness I can tell you that.
Some people read on planes, books in English, books in other languages. The fellow across the aisle was completely engrossed in a Danielle Steele novel. Not the kind of reading material that I would have expected but whatever. There are businessmen doing work, looking through paperwork, fiddling with their computers. People watching movies on computers or portable DVD players. I think I was the only person knitting on the plane but I didn't walk up and down the entire aisle so I can't guarantee that. There was a fellow who did Sudoku, IN PEN, for the whole flight. I was impressed.
A great way to see what people are doing on an airplane is when you have to stand there waiting for the bathroom. Awkward in the extreme that you have to breath down peoples necks waiting for that door to open. I try to position myself by someone who is watching something interesting. Then, because this was a commuter flight you have to do the "fanny dance" with the person who has exited the lavatory. You have to make sure you turn butt to butt to minimize the creepiness of the situation. And you have to hope that both of you are small to moderate size people or else it is just REALLY a problem.
Watching people in the airport is even better. An airport is a microcosm of the whole world. You will see anything and everything in an airport. There is so much hustle and bustle, especially at peak hours. There are business men striding along, talking on their cell phones. What is all the business that these people are conducting? I love to see people walking along and texting at the same time. Somewhere along the line I am going to see someone smack into a pole because they aren't watching where they are going. There are families burdened with kids, strollers, diaper bags, grandparents. There are people with honking big backpacks and "carry on" bags that you KNOW would never actually pass the test. Those are the bags that people spend time cramming into the overhead bins, or trying to do that when all of us around them know that the bag just isn't going to fit. I occasionally see a woman who is going to catch a plane and has a small handbag with her and no other carry on. What does that woman do on the plane for the whole flight? She doesn't even have room in that purse for anything other than lipstick. There are travelers from other countries, wandering along trying to find their gate. The whole world is at the airport.
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