Intrepid Girl Reporter

Wednesday, 8/13: I love
August 14, 2008, 2:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

There are a few things more depressing than eating alone in an airport, but not many. The only good thing is that in an airport, you’re never the only one eating alone; there are always three or four people hunched over their table at California Pizza ASAP!, looking bored and unhappy. They don’t want to be alone, of course, but they don’t want to be with you either, just like you put your laptop bag on the other chair in the hope that no smelly man on his cell phone will sit next to you. The airport is probably the only place I can think of that has so many people who crave company, are surrounded by it, and reject it, all at the same time.

I’m not sure when I stopped enjoying traveling alone. In high school I liked it because, being as I was periodically without a car, it gave me the opportunity to buy magazines and eat the junky kind of prefab sushi that I secretly crave, things I wanted to do but didn’t really have occasion to at home. I wasn’t then, and I’m not now, accustomed to doing things simply because I want to; spending so much time with my family, who mostly but not always did things that I also wanted to do, I rarely did anything me-specific unless I had a reason to do so. And then in college it was fine, I was an adult and everything, and in Korea I spent all my time pondering my identity anyway, an act for which travel is uniquely suited. (I also mostly traveled with my friends, specifically Hallim, Oregon, Soccer, and Scooter, so it wasn’t a huge deal.) But slowly, like a balloon with a pinhole, the excitement has drained, a few too many nights spent at the Atlanta airport, a few chain restaurants losing their allure for the grownup me. (Although it should be noted that I actually do enjoy California Pizza Kitchen in both its ordinary and abbreviated forms.) Maybe it’s just because I’m coming back from my first grownup job interview, but suddenly it all seems rather lonely.

DC is, however, a nice city. Last night I had dinner at Zaytinya with one of my best friends from college and her boyfriend, who also went to My College, and then we met up with one of my favorite people, one of my friends from my summer at Summerbridge. (Zaytinya, by the way, has the very unique honor of having served me both the best octopus and the best rabbit that I’ve ever had – in the same meal.) And today I had an interview and now I’m sitting in the Charlotte airport, watching the reflection of the person next to me, having bought Miguk Oma a copy of Gourmet and myself a copy of a magazine called Good, designed specifically for the person I don’t want to be and do. While I contemplate the chutzpah of what I’ve done (Good?!? Really?), the most important thing to me at the moment is returning home to the fam and thinking about the other one, who went to the beach on Jeju the other day and wished I could have been there too. Host Mom finishes all the calls now with “[IGR]…I love,” which is almost better than having “you” at the end. Such greetings make occasional loneliness a little easier.


1 Comment so far
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this is such a pretty and thoughtful post. it makes me think about trading music on buses.

also, i bought tiger beat, collector’s edition, for my students as it came with a free poster of HSM 3. i just wonder what the lady at the register thought. ^^

Comment by Oregon

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