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  1. Bring them a cup of tea
  2. Cover them with a blanket while they are sleeping
  3. Hug them
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24 hours of awkward interactions in very public places
  1. Freshened up in the bathroom at the American Museum of Natural History
    Desperate times call for a trip to the bathroom in the hall of primates, where I put in my contacts, washed my face, and fixed my hair amid side-glances from mildly concerned tourists.
  2. Ate a tuna sandwich on the sidewalk
    My lunch was neither gourmet or upscale: I ate a dry tuna sandwich while waiting in line for tickets to see the Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
  3. Bought a photocopy for a man from Tonga
    We were both sent to fed ex for copies by the French consulate, and his debit card wasn't working. It turns out he's an artist with shows all over the world. Hopefully I'll be able to check out one of his European shows next year.
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  1. Met and chatted with a friendly stranger at the coffee shop
  2. Found a used copy of Sherman Alexie's "Ten Little Indians"
  3. Listened to Halsey for the first time
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Other than the fact that I'm going somewhere new and exciting, of course.
  1. Top-notch people watching
    People watching is at its best when there's a wide range of people-- from world-traveling professionals to novices who can't find their gate-- but airports offer a common theme. You can see the anticipation in every face you pass, whether they're anxious about making their plane in time or uncertain about the miracle of flight. Even the decidedly unruffled businessmen crack from time to time, and a flicker of uncertainty is the kind of honest moment and people-watcher craves.
  2. Airport employees
    Generally desensitized to the thrill of travel, mostly unimpressed by your efforts to seem effortless, these justifiably jaded travel stewards can still make an airport experience with their kindness. This morning my shuttle driver and my tsa agent both surprised me with their attentiveness, which was remarkably not trampled by the volume of people they encounter every day.
  3. Windows and light
    Having massive observation Windows at every gate serves a very immediate practical purpose, but when they're combined with numerous skylights (like the ones at Buffalo Niagra International Airport), they create a bright, airy space that distracts from the claustrophobic cabin to come.
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