Every time I enter an airport , whether leaving or returning, this song by Maria Rita echoes in my head. In fact it’s about a railway station but I think it applies just as well to an airport. Because for me that’s what an airport is – a place for meeting and saying goodbye.
I like to think of the story behind each person. I like to think of who is waiting and who is going. I like the kisses and embraces of the arrival, and even the departure tears. I like to imagine who is going where, to do what and with whom. I like to think of who is waiting. I like the meetings and missed meetings that happen every day in the airports of the outside world.
I always remember the story of a friend of mine who ran into a former lover at the airport. She was arriving and he was leaving. A chat for a few minutes, amid the rush and the suitcases, was enough for them to realise that the relationship wasn’t over after all. They got married and now they have a child. If they hadn’t run into one another on that day at the airport they would probably have carried on their separate lives without hearing anything about each other.
I like the airport. I like the joy of leaving, the anxiety, the rush, the time when you get rid of the heavy cases, the prospect of spending a few days somewhere else. But I also like the feeling of calm when I return, catching sight of Lisbon from up above and feeling that I’m coming home.
It’s great to be leaving, but there’s nothing like coming back. And, as Maria Rita says, “they’re just two sides of the same journey”.
Ana Garcia Martins
Blogger, author of “A Pipoca Mais Doce” (http://apipocamaisdoce.clix.pt)