25 Answers to “What Do You Like Best About Travel?”
It is the 6:45 a.m. reveille of “Housekeeping!”
It is the surprise upon checkout of the unordered movie, “No Title Shown on Bill (Though the $3 Price Differential Means it Was Porn).”
It is the plentiful and convenient airport parking.
It is the courtesy of my fellow travelers as I struggle with two bags after declining to pay $35.00 to check one of them.
It is the compassionate and friendly suggestions offered by TSA agents.
It is the new tube of Crest surrendered to the agents so that I may do my part to stem the alarming increase in toothpaste related terrorist attacks.
It is the escalating surrender of my belt, eyeglasses, money clip, and lip balm during the screening in order to keep the flight secure and safe.
It is the unspoken joke about weapons struggling against my natural inclination to try to liven up a (so far) humdrum morning.
It is the woman in front of me who asserts her right not to go through the X-ray machine, rallying the support of the 68 people behind her in line.
It is seeing the same woman smile through tears during the extensive and, frankly, quite tender girl-on-girl pat down.
It is the array of healthy and reasonably priced foods at the terminal.
It is the man on his cell phone two gates away relating a detailed account of his morning apparently to someone at the School For the Deaf.
It is the fecund literary oasis known as The Bookery, which sells inspirational titles for in-flight reading like The Kardashian Kronikles, Assholes Finish First, an interior design book by Barbra Streisand, Sexy Sudoku, a hundred or so romance novels involving vampires, and the omni-talented Snooki’s manifesto A Shore Thing.
It is the clean, comfortable and spacious waiting area, entitling one seat per passenger and two more seats for her belongings.
It is the emergent democracy of boarding.
It is the olfactory aura of the man across the aisle on his way to Las Vegas in his “lucky“ shirt.
It is the good-natured Darwinian competition for space in the overhead.
It is the toddlers in the seat behind undergoing the rigors of behavior modification.
It is the “All About Salmon” theme of this month’s in-flight magazine.
It is the friendly introduction and note of thanks to you (“our flight associates”) in the same magazine, dictated by the airline’s president from his private jet.
It is the special attention of the captain, awakening the flight in mid-nap, to point out his boyhood home in Oelwein, Iowa.
It is to marvel at the efficiency (and irony) of the coffin-sized restroom.
It is the sweetly harmonic convergence of 177 simultaneously booted-up cell phones upon landing.
It is the glimmer of the pilot’s tip jar.
It is the new swearing of allegiance to Amtrak.