I was whiling away my time at Frankfurt airport, all 11 hours of it, waiting for my connecting flight to Boston. I started off in the usual fashion, meandering about in the glitzy boutiques that shopping crazed travellers flooded. All the big brands, at throwaway prices by their normal standards seemed to be source enough for all my fellow travellers to put the stopovers to good use. I got quickly bored of the commotion in the shops and tried my luck with the German police for a transit visa into Frankfurt. The heart of the automobile industry that Germany is, parent to Porsche, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes to name just a few, was always a dream destination for my car crazed mind. No progress was achieved in that department too as post 9/11, people seem to have lost a little bit of trust in the casual tourist. Dejected I wound my way back across the multiple level behemoth that is Frankfurt airport. I stood for a little while in front of a window which looked out onto the runway as a variety of planes took off or landed. Then I stumbled across a collection of display boards where amidst all the incessant motion of the crowds there was an involuntary pause as everyone took a second to peek at the status of their flights. In an ode to legendary Teutonic efficiency, every single one of them seemed to be on schedule!
I ran a quick compare of my destination to others listed up there. Boston to where I was headed versus the mystery of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The cab infested streets of New York shared space with the exotic Caracas. The Hollywood glitter of Los Angeles glowing alongside the endless meadows surrounding Ulan Bator. I couldn't help but sigh at the mundane nature of my life. Sure, it was my first trip overseas to the wonderful developed world of USA. But did I really want to go there at all? A galaxy of unfamiliar points on the world map, names that evoked a sense of the unknown versus the familiar names that had been already mapped out in my imagination through the done-to-death images force fed to my mind through Hollywood and cable TV. The unknown was dangerous, and the unfamiliar was scary but isn't that what I crave? I want to wake up to a new question and a new mystery everyday, not the same, old routine that ensures that I have a certain amount in my bank at the end of the month. The comfort of regularity seems such a poor invigorator, a whisky peg rendered impotent with too much water!