I've always liked airports. I like the hustle and bustle and watching people around me go places. I like the feeling of my suitcase rolling behind me and the satisfying feeling of finding a chair at your gate. I loved the way my heart was in my throat whenever I looked at the departures board and the grin that broke across my face when I spotted my flight. I liked knowing that something was about to happen.
I did, however, not tend to like airports as much at 4 in the morning. The La Mezzia airport in Calabria, Italy was quite literally deserted as my dad and I walked through the automatic doors. The loudest sound in the entire place was my shoes on the floor. My dad and I rolled to a stop in front of the exhausted looking woman at the sole luggage check. She and my dad immediately started conversing in rapid Italian. I was only able to pick up a few words, so I busied myself with looking around. Two departing flights. No arrivals.
I jerked my head back around at the sound of my father’s voice. “Yeah?”
“Are you checking your bag?” I glance at my beat-up blue suitcase, close to bursting with all the clothes I had been positive I'd wear when I packed a month ago.
“Si. Scusa.” I hand my dear companion to the pissy Calabrian.
My dad and I pretty much walk through security, being the only people present, and find our gate. . . which just so happens to be the only one on this side of the airport. With our staggering three hours of sleep, this mildly humorous event is so hilarious to us that we’re snorting by the time a 20-something brunette walks up to the gate. She talks one look at the two sleep-deprived Americans and chooses a seat a safe distance away and pulls out her book.
All in all, our flight to Milan probably had about eight people on it.
Like I said, I've always liked airports.