Monday, June 11, 2012

Lounge Observations

There's not much to do in Chicago's International Terminal. There are no restaurants. No bars. Just some kiosks, duty free stores and a hand full of lounges. The internet here in the SAS Lounge is slow, there are no televisions with news channels on. I can look out the window onto the runway and watch planes land and take off. But only when there isn't a large plane parked in front of the window. Really the only thing to do is people watch, so here's what I see right now as I sit in a quiet corner of the lounge.

There is a wide variety of business and first class passengers. A young Indian couple sitting with a table between them. They haven't spoken to each other since arriving, they don't even look at each other. Two couples in their sixties talking and laughing loudly, disturbing the otherwise quiet lounge. A young man, maybe in his 20s, wearing designer jeans and a white t-shirt. His arms and neck covered in colorful tattoos, his third beer making it's way pass his pierced lips.

A young boy about 10 years old is grabbing what little food there is with his bare hands and after a quick inspection he puts it back, his parents watching. An elderly man sits by himself near the window wearing a dated tweed jacket. He's typing away on his Ipad with his right forefinger. His canvas backapck and carry one that resembles a vintage doctor's bag is trimmed in brown leather straps with buckles, maybe he's headed for a safari.

Another man dressed in a suit that the best money can buy talks on his cell phone loudly, he tells the person on the other end that he is headed to Lahore and repeats many times that he is flying business class, maybe trying to show off. Little does he know all the passengers in the lounge are flying business class, he'll impress no one here.

Looking out the large picture windows the runway is no longer visible. An Airbus A340-600 belonging to Lufthansa just pulled up to gate M13 blocking our view. I'm eye level to the cockpit and nod at the captain and copilot as they look ahead and see me. Their arms move in all directions as they flip switches and turn knobs. The jet bridge is extended and passengers disembark. Behind the Airbus the sky is turning black, the weather is changing quickly.

Only forty five minutes left before boarding begins aboard Etihad Airways flight number 150. In an hour and a half we'll be taking off for our 13.5 hour flight to Abu Dhabi. I don't know when my next update will be. It might be in Abu Dhabi or it might be after I get to India. If it's after I get to India then it won't be until I can find some internet service which might take a few days.

And if you haven't yet noticed there were three updates today so be sure to keep reading below....

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