Part TWO of my Olympia trip:
I got off the plane and wished the old lady I’d sat next to good luck — she was meeting her daughter before flying to Germany. She smiled at me, wished me luck at my conference, and that was that. I walked across the tarmac and up a flight of stairs into the largest waiting area I’ve ever seen. Silly me thought I had to go through security again, but the stewardess lady ushered me into the airport with a smile. I guess they figure if you made it onto the plane, you’re not a threat.
Like a tourist, I wandered past the waiting area and into the main portion of the airport and saw the thing I least expected to see:
A SUSHI BAR!!!
I hadn’t yet had breakfast (it was only 8am), so sushi didn’t sound particularly appetizing (and the store had a HUGE line in front of it), but I was so intrigued, I actually walked over and oogled their stuff. It looked excellent, by the way. 🙂
I grabbed a muffin and a coffee at Starbucks, instead.
Having an hour to kill before catching my shuttle, I wandered, muffin and coffee in hand, to a little seating area where I could watch the planes take off. It really is amazing to watch a huge jumbo jet catch air — a marvel of physics in action. Being the goofy tourist, I dug out my camera and took quite a few pictures of the tarmac… none of which actually came out. I laughed at myself, and turned my camera off — and heard an older gentleman say, “they really move fast, don’t they?”
Turning to face him, I smiled, and chatted with him while I ate my breakfast. He was from Yugoslavia, and was very nice.
A while later, I decided I’d better find out where the shuttle pick-up was, and so I gathered my things and headed toward “door 00,” as directed by the friendly airport staff. Along the way I took several pictures of replica aircraft they had suspended from the ceiling — a DaVinci or Galileo flying machine, a bi-plane, and the Voyager aircraft. Very cool.
Along the way I noticed something disturbing: no one actually looks at you. You smile at them, and sometimes talk to them, and while they may respond, they don’t actually look at you.
Except for the guy from Yugoslavia. He was real.
Anyhow, the time was right, and so I stepped out to meet my shuttle. It began to rain (and didn’t stop until after I came home!). Said ‘Hi’ to the shuttle-driver, and climbed in. The only other pick-up was a young man from Hong Kong who’d never been to the United States before. His English was perfect. I told him I hoped we would make a good impression on him, and he laughed. He said he felt like he’d been here before, he’d read so much about America, and heard so much from the friends he was visiting. He asked me what I did (I said writer, librarian), and we proceeded to have a very fascinating conversation about ebooks.
Our shuttle-driver dropped him off first, and another ten minutes of driving later, I was at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia, overlooking Capitol Lake. I thanked the driver, and entered the hotel. Finding out my room wouldn’t be ready for a while, I found the lounge and checked my email.
From my Mother:
“Don’t talk to strangers.”
For pictures of my flight, trip, tours, and flight home (now finished!), go here: