At Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, a woman’s voice booms over the loud speaker, “Ellie Yudna you are delaying the flight. Please board at gate B80 or we will proceed to offload your baggage.”
I look up from my tea and paper expecting to see Ellie running harriedly through the gleaming modern terminal. Instead I see only an elderly couple sipping cappuncinos at a table nearby and a few travelers browsing the newstand, toting small rollerbags. Ellie must have been stuck in traffic, or worse, stricken with a sudden, severe illness. Why else would she caused her fellow passengers to suffer (*gasp*) a flight delay?
The woman on the loudspeaker booms again, “Patrick Gerha you are delaying the flight. Please board at gate H31, or we will proceed to offload your baggage.” Again I look around for the guilty passenger, and see only a young couple making out in the boarding loung and solo travelers tapping away on their computers. No sign of Patrick. I start to wonder. Maybe his business meeting ran over.
She booms again, “James Gibson you are delaying the flight…” I lose sympathy. James must be that guy I passed on the street last night on my way home. After stepping on mu foot, bumping my shoulder and spilling my beer, he ducked out of the bar and across the alley into a sex worker’s room at 2:30 am. No doubt he overslept the alarm and is now making everyone else late. Public shaming serves him right.
The announcements keep coming one after another. So many people are delaying flights. No wonder the Dutch take action with a loudspeaker. How else are wayward travelers going to learn to be punctual? The woman booms, “Genevive Bjorn you are delaying the flight…” Wait, that’s me. I get up and shuffle for the gate, embarrassment flush red on my cheeks.