My solo slumber party at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport where busy bees hustled and bustled, I recall, an elder Spanish lady, assuming I didn’t understand, was babbling with annoyance to her grandson about me taking up all the three seats. I then popped my eyes wide open to absorb the shocking current scene of the sea of human bodies that had been transformed from desolation overnight. I jumped up to apologize in Spanish which totally took her off guard. Comparing to Pais, Duluth airport accommodated me excellently. Even the janitor tried to maneuver the machine discreetly just so I could continue dreaming peacefully.
I kept refreshing the Craigslist housing list in vain for an hour until my mind directed me to messaging my friends for some good laughs. I thought of Collin and Leon who were traveling across Canada and America to teach rollerskating for a day in different cities. I was lucky enough to be one of their first students at their first stop in Calgary. Then more so fortunate enough to become friends with them. Who could ever imagine a simple message, “hey how are you? Where are you? I just woke up in Duluth airport,” would be responded with, “wow! We are 15 minutes away from Duluth airport. We can come pick you up and drop you in downtown.”
How unbelievable! From West Coast to Mid-West, here we were again! Awed by the “destined coincidence”, Leon suggested we get breakfast together before they hurried off to Chicago. Their depiction of Vancouver disseminated some ideas into my mind. Maybe our second encounter was a sign for me to go to Vancouver instead of staying in Duluth?
I don’t know what I would’ve done had they not dropped me off at a coffeeshop in downtown. Before Leon and Collin took off, they asked, “where are you going to stay tonight?” I replied with confidence, “I don’t know, but I have faith good things are going to happen.” Soon enough, I chatted casually with two white-haired fair ladies, they expressed their admiration in my endeavor to prove humanity by giving me the warmest hugs ever. That was enough to keep my passion burning, let alone their insistence to giving me a bagful of cash.
After long hours of sitting in the coffee shop, my feet was itching so badly that I simply entrusted my luggage to a group of studying students, strapped on my rollerblades and set off for Pioneer Hall to get my marathon package. I didn’t expect an inline skate expo at where I exchanged plenty of business cards and shook hands with many passionate skaters. I realized that my favorite part of the journey might not be the journey itself, but the pre-departure mingle and tingle. I love preaching about what i strongly believe to people from all walks of life! I even made friends with the security guard and parking controller who passed me the secret WiFi password meant only for staff to use.
A slender woman in her 60’s who was working behind the counter assured me, “if you still haven’t found a place to stay by 9pm, you can stay with me.” However, she accentuated and warned me about the toxic moldy condition in her apartment that she feared might affect my breathing and performance in the marathon. But with her words as great assurance, I wandered jauntily into a seemingly swanky riverside restaurant (well, I save money on accommodation, it’s not over the pale to spend more on good food, right? ) I was being asked, “where are you going to sleep tonight?” while sipping on my pear cider cocktail and indulging in my fried shrimp basket at the fire pit.
“I am not 100% sure. But I have faith good things are going to happen.”
I strolled back to the expo to wait for the lady to get off work. Not only did she happily offered me a couch to crash, she was considerate and loving enough to ensure I had enough nutrients and carbohydrates for tomorrow’s marathon. I am so thankful to her and her adorable smiles!