I get so emotional at airports, whether it is saying Hello or Goodbye.
Since moving to South Africa, we've had a stream of visitors, both sets of parents, a sister, two of our kids that stayed behind in the UK, both on their 2nd visit and my friend @cantbarsed2.
You realise how large the world actually is when you move to another country, people say 'what a small world' because of all the technology, because it 'brings people together' It doesn't, it reminds you how far apart we really are.
I tend to leave home for the airport about a 40 minute drive away about half an hour before the plane is due to land. I have a favoured parking space, I grab a coffee and stand at arrivals watching people come through. I'm familiar with the airline staff and their uniforms so with one eye on the arrivals board and another keeping look out for the captain of the flight I'm waiting for. I sip my coffee, I tweet and I people watch.
In anticipation of family and friends arriving I get really excited, I think of all the place I want to take them, all the things to show them and all the things we need to catch up with. As they walk through arrivals, I have a habit of breaking into tears, hugging them, while they look perplexed. I'm not know for public displays of emotions.
Poor old @cantbarsed2 was spared that sight, as I was just approaching the terminal when my phone rang, she'd landed 20 mins early and had already cleared customs and collected her bag, seeing as we hadn't met in 20yrs she must have thought this was one big, nasty joke, as she looked around for the hidden cameras.
i'm much better with goodbyes, I think about why I'm pleased to see the back of the visitors, how we've had a row, or they've got under my feet, anything to stop myself clinging to them, begging them not to go and leave me on my own. I stand there, blinking back the tears with my 'hard cow' face on, wave them off and usually manange to just about get back to the car before the tears come. Although I can't control them when it's the kids.
I was at OR Tambo airport last week to collect Hubby from his return to Egypt. Fancy that an 8 hour flight away, same time zone and yet we are both still in Africa, that's one of the reasons I know the world is such a large place. We'd last spoken with one another on Skype 13 hrs earlier and as I stood waiting for him to arrive back from his 4 day away trip. I listened to the people around me.
A few English voices, I smiled, we chatted, we passed the time with 'bloody hell it's hard living here isn't it?' and then I saw this young woman with a small child. She stood in the arrival hall, she had tears rolling down her face, she yelled 'Mum', and mum rushed forward, hugging her daughter and then stood back and starred at her grandchild in his pram. She sobbed, she bent down and picked the child up and through the sobs she said 'my gorgeous little boy, I can't believe this is the first time I have cuddled you'
Most of the women around me were in tears and hubby walked into arrivals, hugged me and said 'I've been gone less than a week' I pointed at the two women and the small child, sobbing, trying to explain why I was so emotional...I failed, but bless, all the way home he thought I'd missed him....I had, just not that much.