The airport has changed its voice thingy when you drive in! (see two posts back, thing-that-makes-me-happy #22) I am unhappy. Now, instead of going "WELCOME!!!!" it says "Welcome." Now, on the assumption that anyone who reads this blog will visit me in New Zealand someday, I will never be able to share the joy with you. How sad.
I have been to the airport twice today. I got up early in the morning to pick up Dad, whose flight was arriving at 8am. Got there, waited two hours - no sign of Dad. Started to imagine he'd been arrested, kidnapped, or had collapsed somewhere with a life-threatening illness. Got some nice airport men to help me but they didn't know where he was. Went home wondering if I was mad and had got the wrong day/flight/time. Nope, I was right - but Dad's first flight, to Auckland, was late and by the time he rung me, I'd already left the house. He arrived at 1.05pm.
All the same, the first trip wasn't a complete waste. Whenever I wait at the international arrivals section, I always think of the opening scene of Love Actually where a Hugh Grant voiceover talks about how his depression is always cured by going to the Arrivals gate at Heathrow. (That is, unless his father fails to turn up.) I like watching the people who arrive, or the people who wait. I guess the sort of person they're waiting for; age, sex, relationship to them.
There was one grandfather waiting for his daughter and her family. When they finally came out of Customs, her three little boys went running at him shouting "Grandad, Grandad, Grandad!" and giving him big hugs. Very cute. Next minute: "Can you take out your teeth?"
Another little baby boy arrived with his dad to see his grandfather. He had obviously just started to walk confidently, and was swaggering/swaying all over the place with a huge proud grin on his face. He kept walking past me and looking at me mischievously because he knew I couldn't not smile. I think airports must be heaven to kids of that age - all those flat carpets and big empty spaces.
There was a whole group of people waiting for someone and I was trying to guess who it would be. It was tricky because the people were all of different ages and not all related. Finally a young mum and dad walked out holding three tiny babies - imagine travelling with triplets who were under a month old! Brave, brave people. They should be applauded.