Like any normal OCD/Anxiety-Filled person, I arrived a few hours early for my flight. Boston to Miami, Miami to Santiago. Fun times. I met up with many of my classmates in the terminal, and we took turns guarding the luggage to go fill up on over-priced, under-heated airport food.
The terminal was still very empty. I was seated in a row of 5 seats and was facing a row of about 30 seats, all of which were empty. Our little row of seats, however, was quite crowded. Seat 1 was empty, I was perched in Seat 2, my bags in Seat 3, my friend Adam's bags in Seat 4 and Seat 5 awaited Adam's return from the food court. Again, let me remind you-- there were 30 empty seats across from me!
About 2 minutes after Adam left, a rather large, greasy man in an oversized parka jacket, dirty jeans and unlaced sneakers plopped himself down in Seat 1. I was annoyed by this for many reasons. First, I was about to embark upon 12 hours of stuffing myself into a seat that would be considered small for your average 5 year old. I didn't need to spend any extra time close to strangers. Second, as a spoiled only-child raised in the suburbs of America, I am all about personal space. Though I'm 5'3 and 90 pounds, I believe that my "aura" constitutes another 5 food radius around me. Which means, of course, that Senor Greasy was sitting on my aura! My personal space was very annoyed about this, especially because there were, again 30 empty seats across from me!
I'd like to think that I'm enough of a good person that I would have dealt with all of these issues if Senor Greasy was, indeed, just greasy. Unfortunately, he also SMELLED!! The combined scents of garlic, body odor, cheese and roasted onions wafted from his person. It was quite overwhelming. I couldn't help it; I got up and moved to Adam's seat. Mr. Smelly didn't seem to mind, and I did give him a little smile that I'm hopeful conveyed the message that "I don't hate you, but you ARE sitting on my aura and, hello, there are 30 empty seats across from me!! But, then, Adam returned.
I had a mini-panic. Did I return to my seat next to Mr. Smelly? DId I stand near Adam and pretend that I was stretching for the flight? What could I do so that neither my nose nor Mr. Smelly were offended? I decided to combine my options. First, I stood near Adam while he ate his dinner. When he finished eating, I sat down again and turned so that my back was to Mr. Smelly and I rested my magazine on my bags. But, that just was too much!! Mr. Smelly was really really stinky!! So, again, I stood up near Adam.
That's when Mrs. Smelly arrived! Also large and greasy, and also very smelly, she thundered down into Seat 2, basically rendering me completely seatless! She and Mr. Smelly had clearly eaten their last meal together as the garlic-b.o.-cheese-onion smell was doubled upon her arrival. I looked at Adam, he looked at me, we looked at the 30 empty seats across from me!!! and immediately got up! We moved across the aisle (and as far down as possible!) and gave our noses the fresh air they desperately needed. Phew, I thought, problem solved!! Every adventure needs a story!!
Fast forward to the flight from Miami to Chile. We'll discuss next time.