What's the most memorable conversation you've had with a stranger at the airport?
I was interviewed for a Dutch TV show at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport called "Hello, Goodbye." It is a fantastic show that has since been sold to 19 countries around the world, with the premise that the host interviews people that are waiting for loved ones to arrive, or those that are saying farewell. It is inevitably funny, sad, and beautiful story telling. My interview alas was as I was leaving Holland after the funeral of my uncle....
I love love love talking to strangers at airports around the world.
Last year for instance I had a conversation with a guy at Lisbon Portela Airport that i just met by chance and after a few emails the guy ended up helping me to a job at the beach handball world cup in Recife.
It was devastating but still lovely. I shared a row with a woman who was going on the European adventure she had planned to take with her husband. He had tragically passed away a week or two before retirement and instead she was traveling to meet his sister and another friend. It was hard to tell if the conversation was helpful to her or not, but I still appreciate her honesty with a stranger, her pride at her husband's lifetime of accomplishments, and her attempt at resilience - she knew she wasn't all the way there yet, but sharing her healing process with me was really special.
Spent 5 and a half hours talking to the guy that directed The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (euro version) on a cross country flight. We just hit it off and talked about everything but Hollywood. At the end of the flight we hugged and he looked wistfully back as he headed up the ramp. Weird encounter but really interesting dude.
I ran into a friend's boyfriend (who I'd never met) in JFK en route to Israel, where he was going to surprise her and propose!
I actually met a long-term family friend through an airport conversation. We were leaving Dulles Airport en route to Brussels for a move to Germany and sat across a German man and his daughter. This was one crazy move - 12 pieces of luggage checked, three carseats, 4 kids (three under 4) and a cat, so we sort of stood out. :)
Marlene, the little girl, wanted to talk to my girls and was curious about the cat, so we welcomed her over and began to talk with her and her parents. Her Romanian mom walked up with Starbucks, so we instantly bonded over coffee.
On the flight, Marlene came and sat with us for part of the 7 hours and we all talked together.
We still keep in touch nearly 10 years later.
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