This is my last and final post in the “Visiting Florida” Series, even recounting this trip was as fun as actually taking it. I hope to visit again someday soon! My college roommates and I were thinking about taking a trip down there so hopefully it happens soon 🙂
On my last day in Florida, we didn’t have much scheduled – just wake up, eat at Einstein Bagels, drive the 3.5 hours back to Orlando, and then head to the airport. Those of you that know me really well know that I LOVE airports, I absolutely adore them. Flying, eh, not as much, but I love airports. Airports are where people show their raw emotions. All of the hugging and kissing when they are saying goodbye to or greeting a loved one. The annoyance parents feel when their kids are screaming and jumping up and down. The people waiting for their flights and just eating, reading, and enjoying their wait.
Much like our trip to Florida, our trip back was heavily delayed. At first it was only delayed 2 hours, but then it was delayed 2 more! I joked and told my parents that we should head back to Harry Potter World to ride the Forbidden Journey ride again. If you look at the picture of us on the ride, I don’t think my family collectively that happy before, ever. Seriously. Even thinking about this picture warms my heart so much 🙂
Anyway, we had one United Lounge pass, which meant exclusive access into the First Class Lounge! I volunteered as tribute! Hehe. My parents said they saved it for my brother and I, but my brother was more than okay with not going (or so he said, he might have just said it cause he knew I really wanted to go, shoutout to you lil bro!)
Now, I’ve only been inside a first class lounge once before, and it was lots of free food, free WiFi, and high class people. Well, that’s essentially what this was too. I actually sat there and started drafting all of these Florida blog posts … but I don’t know, I can’t find them, maybe I forgot to save because I was too mesmerized by the free coffee and food I had access to. It was actually pretty upsetting. I had just bought myself a Qdoba salad, and was ready to enter this lounge and fancy cucumber water and eavesdrop on conversations other guests were having, but they didn’t let me bring it in! So I had to sit outside the lounge and eat my salad by myself, like I was a middle schooler eating in the bathroom because I was scared to eat alone during lunch.
UPDATE! I sent the final blog post to Souvik via Facebook messenger so here we go:
I remember when I first learned about ethnographies in 11th grade and how we have to observe a group of people and see how they behave and act with each other. So here I am. I am in the United Club Lounge because my dad had an extra pass from when he went on a business trip a few weeks ago. I feel bad that he didn’t get to enjoy the united club lounge with his friends, especially because this lounge is quite nice. There is endless coffee, tea, and food. I already ate a banana, some chocolate covered pretzels and a cookie brownie. I think this is what I want my life to be like one day – going on business trips for the company, hanging out in the first class lounge while I’m waiting for my flight to board, sitting on the computer typing away and drinking free coffee, not too shabby if I don’t say so myself! But while I’m sitting here I just found out that my flight got delayed 2 hours… why does this keep happening? That means we’ll reach home at midnight, and what are we going to eat, etc? Especially because dad will be so tired from driving and travelling all day. I should have sent him to this lounge instead. Alas, here I am however, and I’m typing up this ethnography even though I haven’t analyzed anyone yet. What a shame.
The people next to me are taking the same flight as me, but I don’t want to tell them it’s delayed because 1. I don’t want them to know I was eavesdropping on them, and 2. I really need their seat so I can use their charger. Everyone here looks tense – I guess you can’t ever be relaxed when you’re in an airline lounge. How relaxed can you be?? No matter how much free coffee, food, and sitting space you give me. I wonder if these people are looking at me, wondering who I am and what’s my story? I doubt it, I’m a pretty bland person. My ethnography is turning into a rant where I just type whatever is on my mind. Ooh the people are leaving so now I can take their spot. This spot sucks to be honest, I don’t really have a view of all the people and it’s harder to talk about what I notice and don’t notice. I also want to get food but don’t want to leave all my stuff, but picking up all my stuff and taking it every time I go get food just seems like a waste of time – and then I’ll lose my charger space.
Of course after I sent this to him I proceeded to talk about how another one of the little girls in the lounge was using snapchat and “its just so entertaining watching her”
Souvik: LOL way to respect people’s privacy Sandhya
Me: At least I’m not snapchatting her
Souvik: Yeah fair
Me: let me snapchat her
Souvik: Let’s not
Me: Okay you’re right
This is pretty much how all of our conversations go.
And that’s pretty much how 4 hours in the United Lounge went by too. I did leave my stuff “unattended,” in the lounge, which is such an exaggeration because I was traveling 10 feet to the food then 10 feet back, and even less far for the coffee, which was like an arms length away. Eventually I got so bored of sitting in the lounge, I went and got my last giant cup of free coffee, took some oranges and apples and fruits for my parents (that’s right United, karma for all these delayed flights. It was right after the whole “fight on the plane airhostess, kicking and screaming” debacle too. I had to have my own vigilante justice) and joined them back outside at our gate. I gotta tell ya, even though I saw them just a few hours ago, it was really good to see them.
Finally our flight boarded, and I saw Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe waiting for our flight!! This was pretty exciting because I just wrote a post about cybersecurity and how he became head of the council! Before that day, I had never seen a famous politician up close before (of course now I see them multiple times a day) but it was so exciting! I was too shy to go up and talk to him, even though I wish I did. Oh well, maybe I’ll see him again soon! 🙂
We boarded our flight, and arrived back in the United States to icy cold temperatures at 12:30 am. It was about 2 am when we reached back home and I distinctly remember eating noodles when we got back 🙂
It was an amazing trip, and I can’t wait to take it again sometime soon!
Also triple super-duper big shout out to Souvik today, happy birthday bud! I hope you’re having a great day, miss ya lots!!
I also want to take a moment and talk about Parkland, FL. It breaks my heart that we keep having this conversation and nothing is being done. We try and we try but it never turns into anything. I’m at a loss of words and I know this doesn’t help but I’m sending all my good thoughts to Florida. How many more times does this need to happen before we take action?
That being said, we need to turn our anger and frustration into action. Something needs to be different. We need to make a change. We can’t lose hope, not now, not ever.
Tune in tomorrow for the start of my “Boston Series!” which to be honest, is only two posts and is hardly a series, but at least I’m finally catching up
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