It was nearing the end of my stay in Austria, I was having a total blast pretending to be Maria ala Sound of Music (like for realz people, I can’t tell you how many times I busted out “the hills are alive” while there, I mean, can you blame me?)
I, however, was eager to get home to my stinkin’ hot boyfriend and an iced Carmel machiatto at my every beck and call. Seattle, I was coming for ya.
I pulled out my itinerary and realized my flight left at a completely ungodly hour of the morning. I contemplated my plan in getting on the train to the airport. I shared with a friend there my early morning dilemma, and she said “oh, you should just stay the night in the airport! I totally did that recently with some friends. It’s perfect because they never close and you can just sleep on a seat or something!”
And so it was settled. I mean, Tom Hanks did it, why couldn’t I? I was to spend my last night in this glorious country snoozing a few hours on an airport bench surrounded by the hustle and bustle of fellow jet setters, and then be peacefully whisked away to my home land. Sounds like a fool proof plan, right? But are they ever?
I arrived at the airport around 8pm that evening. I found the perfect spot to spread out, enough space to lie down and prop my head up with my polka dot covered airplane pillow for a decent nights rest.
Around 10pm, a security guard came up to me and spoke some German-
“sorry I only know English”
He responded “when is your flight?”
He looked a bit confused, and then shrugged and walked away. I thought hmm….welll….I guess he is cool with this idea- and went back to reading.
That’s when it happened. The lights in the airport shut off completely. I sat up and looked around. NO ONE WAS THERE. Not a single person. I knew in that moment I had just made a really, really dumb life decision.
Not only was the airport lit only by the dim light of the airline advertisement screens, I also quickly realized that the automatic doors themselves were never actually locked. And just to keep me on my toes- every so often, they would randomly open, no one there- just a random opening and closing as if to remind me to be completely and utterly terrified (in case I had forgotten the predicament I had gotten myself into).
I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so hard as I did those 4 hours. Around 2am, employees began to show up and passengers began to trickle in and I am pretty sure I threw my hands up in the air and gave a pretty big “Thank ya Lord Almighty.”
My mom thanks me kindly, even to this day, that I didn’t call to tell her where I was that evening. And I thank myself that I didn’t really need a real life Liam Neeson to save my dumba**.
Life lessons: 1 Nicole: 0