Mingbin, Gaga and Me


I do not want to get on this plane.  I want to stay in this state of airport gate-waiting for eternity.

I’m not afraid to fly. I don’t particularly like it, and usually I feel a little ill when I fly, but it’s only an hour flight and I have good music and a book about George Harrison (my travel buddy) so I should be set.

No, I want to stay here because this is the first time I’ve felt a sense of calm in the past several days. I got a tea, put on a travel playlist my friend made me, and set up to write this blog. It’s nice to stop, to breathe, to pause this state of existential dread.

I want to stay here and think about how adorable my Lyft driver, Mingbin, was. He was a tiny Asian man, probably 70 years old, driving a Mazda with a dancing flower attached to the dash. After a few minutes of pleasantries, he switched on a CD and suddenly I was back in my sophomore year of high school listening to Just Dance by Lady Gaga.

I have so many questions.

Did he make the CD for himself or was it given to him? It’s clearly a mix of Gaga songs spanning several records, and some are remixes. Is he playing it because he thinks I will like it? Or is Mingbin a Little Monster himself? One can only hope.

I watched the little plastic dash flower dance along to Born This Way as we passed an IKEA and I remember thinking about how much I’d rather re-live the 24 hours of travel to India (turbulence and airplane food-induced diarrhea included) than set foot in an IKEA for an hour. That place is like a maze, set up to destroy and feast on the souls of new homeowners.

I miss Mingbin. He didn’t try to make small talk, which is good since I didn’t really want to talk and also couldn’t understand him very well. He drove like a little old man,  thankfully, because I’ve clung on for dear life in the back seat of many a car in my day. He just played a ridiculous amount of Lady Gaga while I alternated between giggling and singing along.

So Merry Christmas everyone! Happy Hannukah, Happy New Year, congratulations on your new baby, have a nice time at the gym today, happy winter. I hope we can all be just as adorable as Mingbin this holiday season, or as he described it “this long weekend.”

xo

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I’m flying to Seattle today! Yay! I’m going to Bumbershoot, a music festival in Seattle, and I’m also going to (surprise!) an international cat show. My gal pal Haylie and I are going to frolic and make flower chains for our hair and be generally delightful, so look forward to some fun posts about that!

My college town is small, conveniently located between a wheat field and another tiny town. But! There is an airport here (it’s an international airport, but the only thing international about it is the large amount of foreign exchange students getting ready to board my flight).

I hate flying. I get incredibly uncomfortable and nauseas while zooming a jillion feet above where I’m supposed to be (the ground) and typically have some inner ear issues. So I always come very prepared: everything in its baggies, laptop easily accessible to pull out, shoes easy to take off, no knives or explosives (I know this is surprising to you since I love to live dangerously). The TSA agent at the front of the security line (there is one terminal and one security line in this airport, which is perfect for anxious flyers like me) complimented me on my organization, which was hilarious and adorable and really nice all at the same time. And then I was selected for an “extra security screening” as I walked through the metal detector.

I got a pat down, y’all! And it was honestly a rather pleasant experience. Hold up, before you get the wrong idea here, it was pleasant because the lady was so nice. She explained everything in detail (back of the hands while going over my butt, thank you very much) and…I don’t know, it wasn’t uncomfortable like people always say it is. Everyone complains about TSA agents, but I think today I might’ve fallen in love with all of them (at this baby airport anyway).

But even in large cities they’re usually at least pleasant. I flew out of Maui a few years ago and the guy told me my name was beautiful. In Oakland, they were the happiest TSA bunch I’ve ever seen — I felt like I was in the midst of the Seven Dwarves.

Anyway, the moral of this story is: I was randomly selected for a pat down and it seemed like I’d won a prize or something. So cheers, TSA, you’re doing it right!