May 15, 16

[EI: Day 4] Stations: A little peaceful pause in our lifes

       

A story in a single image. For WP #EverydayInspiration

No one ever knows me when I enter a bus station or an airport, and yet I feel everybody does.

The first thing that came to my mind, when I looked at that picture, is a funny memory that actually happened at an airport. I started flying at a very young age, but you’ve probably figured this out by now… While living in Comodoro Rivadavia, we would travel three or five times a year: to Rosario, to see our relatives, or to another city just for the fun of it.

I learned to pack my bags efficiently since I was a little girl. I would pack my own little blue bag with my teddy bears’ clothes (because, you know, I was a really good mommy), my little white coat (to cover my nose, because I hated the smell of the air conditioner), a notepad and pencils; and I would also pack a Sarah Kay’s lunch box with the “essentials”: my own cup, handkerchief (no tissues back then), a little chess game with magnets… I would carry one Teddy bear in my arms, and the other one, the youngest, would always fly sleeping in the blue bag… because it was “a baby”, and no one wants to hear a baby crying on an airplane, right?

Yeah… Well… One time, I fell asleep waiting for a delayed flight, so when they woke me up and said: “Laly, let’s go!” (as if it were the end of world, which is my mom’s way), I forgot my blue bag on a chair, with my baby in it… The movie “Home Alone” was actually inspired in some of my memoirs…

As soon as we sat down on the plane, I realized what had happened and … I freaked out!

– My bag! My “Coochy”! -that is its name- I left it in the chair! Daaaaad!!!!

Being my daddy’s princess… (this is so embarrassing)…, “Daddy” went to talk to the Captain: “Sir, my daughter’s teddy bear was left in the airport, … and she needs to change its diapers”… Jesus… I don’t know… I’m laughing and drowning in shame right now.

So the captain called the airport, while he was trying to take that mass of steel to the sky! and the people at the airport -gently- searched for my bag, found it, called the Captain back, and then the Captain called my dad to tell him: “Sir, everything is under control. We found a baby sitter for your daughter’s teddy bear. It will get home in the next flight”.

You can laugh. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

I remember the passengers and the stewardess smiling, not laughing… Everybody knew about my terrible, so terrible and awful situation… And I remember feeling like: “this people is like my family, they take care of me” … I never stopped feeling that way… safe…

My mom could never sleep during a flight, while my dad and I were always playing board games until falling sleep, without counting not even the leg of a sheep… Flying was just another moment in my life, and yet so special… But I won’t ramble, this task is already burning my neurons ….

Have you ever stop and watch the people in a station? There are so many faces…, so many expressions on their faces… You’ll see smiles, and children crying and asking for toys that are being sold at 50% more of the real price; men in suites having a drink, checking their phones and breathing like they are literally running out of time; young couples opening and closing their bags over and over again… It’s probably their first trip together, and the guy forgot his toothbrush… 😛 ; old ladies in a group chatting like parrots: “we are going to do this, we are going to do that, the daughter of my cousin’s friend told me we should check the bottled water because they refilled them”…

If you are a writer and you run out of ideas, please just go with your notebook or notepad, and mingle between the tourists, and listen… There is so much life happening at a station…

But above all, did you ever stop to take a deep breath and appreciate the moment? Stations are like little pauses in our lives… When you’re waiting for your ride, you’re not thinking about your plans for next year, whether you’ll be married or not, whether you’ll change your job or not. When you’re waiting, is just about you, a clock that only ticks to count the minutes until the moment of your departure, a magazine or a book you wouldn’t have bought at home, which has that beautiful smell of the new paper…like a cookie you just pulled out of the oven…. fresh…, new… When I buy a book, the first thing I do is putting my nose in it… Is like a seventh heaven…

It’s just about you and that awesome feeling that something new is about to happen to you.

For people who traveling is a way of living, stations are some kind of a second home… You know where the food is, how you have to order your sandwich in this city or that one, where the bathroom is, which shop sells souvenirs at the best rate…

For some of them, it’s just another moment… But if you’re reading this, you belong to my kind…

If you are a writer and you run out of ideas, or even if you’re traveling for one time… don’t put your headphones on… Be part of that single and special world, where hellos and hugs will get under your skin and make you smile; where goodbyes will make you cherish the home you’ll come back to, and the people you’ll meet and the other ones who will be waiting for you when you return.

If you got the money, don’t collect things…; buy a ticket to a random place and collect memories, collect an unknown piece of life, and you’ll feel like I do: traveling is not just about the destination, is also about the pause in the station: that moment -when more than ever- there’s a clearly before and after.

Cherish the pause, and enjoy your ride.

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  1. They are places of total chaos. But that is half the fun, if you’re not swimming upstream in a wave of bodies looking for your gate.

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