I sort of love layovers; I love that in-between moment in some strange city when life feels transient and the real world feels… well, worlds away.
Long layovers are preferable… I remember when I was a kid; once, my mom, my brother J and I were flying home when our plane made an unscheduled stop due to engine problems. We stayed overnight in an unfamiliar city, checked into a hotel, ordered room service and watched tv in bed. The next morning, we had ice cream with breakfast and my mom took us on a taxi ride into the city before our flight.
I stayed overnight in London a few months back when I was flying home from Paris, it felt surreal being in London on a layover – to be so alluringly close to the city, family and friends… it felt like I was never quite there.
It was dark and tiring by the time our shuttle deposited us to our hotel, luckily I’d packed my ‘airplane food’ like I promised that I would, which I didn’t get to eat it on the plane because the flight was so short.
The food I’d gathered in my lunchbox was from some of favourite places in Paris – plums and grapes from the Bastille market, croissants from Café Pouchkine, macarons from Gérard Mulot, nuts from the Pistacherie in Le Marais and leftover chocolate from Naturalia
That night, at the airport hotel that wasn’t quite by the airport, I wore their plush bathrobe, ate my packed lunch in bed for dinner and watched an episode of the new season of Downton Abbey.
And the next morning, with barely any time to spare, we made a little shopping trip, before our long flight home.