Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why I love airport bars

I reflected on this again earlier tonight after a random and fun conversation waiting in the Virgin America terminal for a flight back to the east coast.

Here's why airport bars are great. Most people are traveling alone, have nowhere else to go, and are bored. Nobody's driving (except the pilots) so there's no reason to stay sober. Everyone has something in common: bitching about various aspects of the travel experience. For all these reasons, you always end up sitting next to random strangers from all walks of life, and having really interesting conversations.

Tonight is a good example. Right now I'm on a plane (with WiFi! Holy Shit we live in the future!), but earlier tonight I was in the Virgin America/Alaska Airlines terminal at LAX. There's only one bar, and when I'm about to get on a redeye, I like to have a beer or two. It was very crowded, so in the search for a place to sit down, I started talking to a woman who was in the same situation. When two bar seats opened up right next to each other, she pointed them out and we sat down next to each other with our bags and started chatting.

She was blonde, with big fake boobs. I was pretty sure she was a stripper or did porn or something, but didn't comment on it. I treated her like any other fellow traveler and kept conversation pretty casual, and didn't even ask any follow up questions whenever she mentioned the "modeling" that she did. We talked about traveling, beer, LA, and her two kids (aged 8 and 9, even though she was about my age).

It was a fun game for me to put together what she did by the context of how she discussed work. For example, she mentioned that she had just been cast as a stripper in a Gerard Butler movie. She mentioned going to a party at the Playboy Mansion, and that she was hoping to get in the magazine.

Her name was Melissa. She discussed how she was having trouble getting her accounts kicked off facebook when she uploaded photos, even though she assured me that "none of them had nudity, or if they did, nipples and stuff were covered up."

Basically, this was someone completely different from me, but very nice. We were very friendly, and yet I wasn't hitting on her (made possible by the Writress shagging me out with regularity I'm sure). It was informative, fun, and a classic LA conversation. It was great.

This is just one of the many random conversations I've had in airport bars. I've seen the range from your regular "i need someone to drink with" guys to a woman who confided in me that she was gay, and it was a big source of tension between her and her mother.

Everyone has a story to tell. It's easy to remember that when you're in an airport.

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