This week’s trip takes me from Indianapolis (IND) to Charlotte (CLT) for a three day stomp around the South. Not often do I get to my home airport with enough time to just grab a
latte, sit back relax and just enjoy the environment. This has been my first later-in-the day departure in a while so I calculated in plenty of time for rush hour traffic. Luckily the roads were clear so I made it in no time. I also got to take an uber which is a treat in the rain. One covered pickup followed by a covered drop off and I’m on my way (yes, I’m a spoiled first-world consumer!).
Of course being here allows for a good amount of people watching and, subsequently, people listening which is another airport hobby of mine. Here’s a thing: at what point is it appropriate to intervene in a conversation? Not to break up an argument or god forbid, get into a political discussion (I would rather stand behind a jet at take-off) but just interject into the discussion. Of course I only ask this when you can add something meaningful in a respectful way that may actually do some good. A father and son were sitting next to me discussing if the young man should apply to his school’s honors program. The father was aloof about it but was not discouraging him either. As someone who has worked in higher education for a long time, I could easily persuade them to give it a try and even discuss some of the benefits they probably didn’t know about. That’s a rhetorical question of course but something that I’m sure we all face at one time or another. At this point I decided to just stay quiet and let it go.
The solitude of business travel life makes you rely on the antics of others for inspiration and sometimes entertainment. Like my seat mate on the way to Charlotte. She wasn’t an full time talker (thankfully) but I guess she worked up the courage to speak once we landed. I learned she had taken this trip to meet her father for the first time. She looked to be in her twenties so that had to be an emotional experience. It’s amazing what people will share like how he was abusive to her mother (before she was born) and how she had been raised by several sets of relatives over her short life. I guess sometimes the anonymity that comes with a short term acquaintance allows you to dump some of the pent up emotional baggage you had been holding in. No tears were shed but I could tell it was an experience she didn’t want to relive. I listened, sympathized, and wished her well.
The next was my shuttle driver from the airport to the hotel. He was a nice older gentleman who I guess enjoyed giving the occupants complete details on the ride including how many minutes we had remaining before arrival,
the list of amenities at this particular property and the birthday and history of Billy Graham (as we were driving on the Billy Graham freeway). I felt bad for not asking him more questions but like the bus we were riding in, I was out of gas.
The trip went well and took me all over western North Carolina. I went from Gastonia to Winston-Salem, even took a beautiful hike at Crowders Mountain State Park. Unfortunately, I was only downtown Charlotte for a few minutes which is sad since it is a very clean and vibrant city. The revitalization around the perimeter of uptown tells me that, like most medium sized cities in the U.S., there is a growth in demand for urban living around Charlotte as well. The city is helping itself immensely with the continued additions of new train lines (slowly but surely, of course).
As of now, I’m back at the airport waiting to board and wishing that one of the rocking chairs that line the atrium would open up soon. I’ll cover those more when I finally do a full review of CLT. Off to the skies I go!