Airport Lounge, 3:15 am
The people crowd around the kiosk and the screen display flashes DELAYED for the one millionth time. I sit close by and watch the people’s low anger and frustration as they complain among each other about the delay.
For some reason, time slows down when things are delayed and I yawn with exhaustion.
Till some check-in staff appear with their walkie-talkies, and the people become louder and suddenly everyone is around the kiosk, and I can’t even see the man anymore. People standing at the back are yelling that this is chaos, and that people should line up. Typically, no one’s listening to anyone and everyone wants to get their boarding pass checked. I’m still an audience to all of this, I haven’t yet moved from my seat, my eyes are barely open, but I do something that is very unexpected, even for me.
I stand, take a deep breath, and very loudly I say:
“PEOPLE. LINE UP PLEASE. WE’RE ALL GOING TO GET ON THAT PLANE SO LET’S PLEASE EXHIBIT SOME CIVILIZATION.”
I literally take each person by the arm and line them up, apologizing firmly to them, but saying that this ought to be done to make the process faster. In a few minutes, everyone was lined up, and I was right. Everyone checked in quickly. I was the last one to check in, and the officer thanked me for saving his “life”.
In another hall, people were already lined up for their passports to be checked, and this went pretty fast too. I was too tired to even be happy about what I did.
The Airplane, 3:35 am
I’m walking in the airplane aisle and a tall man in front of me starts verbally fighting with an older man in front of him because he’s taking too long with placing his luggage in their compartment. The argument was heating. This time I really hesitated.
“Excuse me sirs, we’re all going to find our seats, we’re all going to be seated, a bit of patience will do no harm. I apologize on behalf of the two of you for interrupting your argument, but people behind me need to walk through too, and it’s unfair that you fight, while we wait.”
I said this, and swallowed, because I knew it might not end well. Miraculously, it didn’t. Both of them spat some words and moved towards their seat, saying nothing to me. Phew, I thought.
Needless to say, I slept through the whole flight. And upon arrival, what had happened felt kind of surreal. But it happened, and when I saw the people quietly line up to take the bus, I realized that no matter how small something is, seeing its positive effect is always nice.