Airports are very peculiar places. You see people in every stage of exhaustion and occasionally see adults reduced to toddler style tantrums. I frequently find myself wondering where everyone else is going and amazed at how air travel brings the most random and different collections of people together in a tiny flying metal vessel. Don’t get me wrong, most of my musings are far less cerebral… for example, on my last flight I spent a considerable amount of time trying to see if anyone had a guilty expression so that I could assign guilt for a truly toxic fart that had spread through my section as well as worrying about whether or not I would be able to find good bagels in Vienna.
My studies have had a noticeable impact on my travel experience as well. Sure I know not to take my Arabic flashcards out while anywhere near the airport. But also smaller things, like taking note of a new addition to the safety recording at the beginning of the flight which informed passengers that we were not allowed to congregate at any time during the flight. Security precautions take on a little different color after studying at MIIS, particularly after we have been asked to construct red team scenarios where we imagine how they could be circumvented… although TSA security checkpoints are still terrible. (only plus side is that I get to show off my novelty socks)
A few more hours here, a flight to Prague, and slightly complicated series of public transportation stops is all that is between me and the opportunity to wear a cool yellow radiation suit.