What’s taking her so long?
Hang on! Is that mum’s car?
Yes I think so. Finally.
Waiting is part excitement and part anguish. The part anguish is made up of plethora of sub emotions. Anguish divvies into several heads like the Hindu Gods. Boredom, impatience and then progresses to annoyance, irritation and finally escalates to panic. Usually does a full circle and completes with relief and sometimes unfortunately disappointment.
This was my great epiphany while waiting for my mum at the airport.
Mum was returning after her three month holiday overseas. I cooked, shopped and stocked her fridge yesterday. Set my alarm up for an early start. Tossed and turned all night, worrying if I may miss the alarm. Woke up earlier than the alarm and thought it was for the best. But still the daily chores got in the way of being early at the airport.
As per ‘Murphy’s Law’ every slow driver and every red light was my companion for the drive. After circling three times, I finally manage to park my car. I was just hoping that for my sake that either there was a delay in baggage collection or at customs and that mum wasn’t waiting anxiously for me.
I glance at the flight status board as I rush in. Good, the flight has not landed. I contemplate grabbing a coffee, I didn’t want to part with the money just as mum exited those doors. I decided on having that coffee after all. Made the request for a short macchiatto, just in case I didn’t have enough time to finish a larger coffee. Perched myself on the bar stool that had the direct view of the arrivals. Even though I was running late, I still came prepared with my little ‘mini tab’ to do some writing. Just in case.
By this time it was half an hour passed arrival time. Flight status remained the same. Another fifteen minutes passes. Under the guise of writing my emotions were getting the better of me. I skipped boredom. Patience – I wasn’t impatient waiting but the airport arrivals website was definitely testing my patience.
As per the website there was no mention of the aircraft. This website is supposed to show all flights that was meant to arrive on that day and their flight status. Frustrated, I decided to check the Malaysian airlines website. It stated that the plane had departed Malaysia. And that’s all. No mention of delayed or approximate time of arrival. I gave another ten minutes and checked the two websites again. Same messages. On Adelaide airport’s website there was no mention or acknowledgement of the aircraft and Malaysian Airlines just says that it departed.
My mind was refusing to come out of the pit of panic. Fates of MH137 and MH17 infiltrates logical thinking. My positive outlook and glass half full attitude were shying away to the back seat. Still I muster everything in me not to panic as I logically think that no one else was panicking around me. I think maybe just maybe ‘flight tracker’ should/could tell me more. Thankfully it did. The flight was delayed approximately by one hour. Sigh of relief.
The emotions start all over again once the passengers start to arrive. I am regular at airport pickup as my husband travels a lot for work. Also, I always offer to pick friends, relatives, exchange students (Just those who are going to stay with me). It always feels the same. They are never the first ones to come out. I start to wonder if mum was having issues at customs or quarantine. More at quarantine, if she has brought some food item that is not allowed in Australia. We always joke that bringing drugs into our country might be easier than bringing some fruit. Fellow Aussies think about it a kilo of drugs vs a kilo of bananas? I share this joke in a hushed voice to the guy sitting next to me to kill time.
Finally I see a familiar face and a familiar load of luggage. Mum doesn’t believe in travelling light. I hug her tight with relief. I didn’t even comment on her luggage.