When I heard the announcement that my return flight from Sweden was delayed ninety minutes, I did not worry or fret. I rejoiced: I now had time to explore Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. When I first arrived, I was too eager to get into Stockholm. But now I had the time. So much to do, so much to see. I needed to make good use of my ninety minutes. Like with any itinerary, I had to schedule carefully.
I began by eating my lunch. It was important to be well nourished for my journey. Next I scanned the Departures Board for ideas where I should go on future travels: Barcelona? Zurich? Oslo? Cologne? Dubai? Reykjavík? The possibilities were endless.
I visited a bookstore to see if it had the book I wanted. It wasn’t there.
I caught sight of Passport Control. I had some questions to ask. The officers were so much fun to talk with, and laughed uproariously when I told them the story of how my passport had been stolen. I also told them about the book I wanted to find. They said I should explore the F Wing, which had more bookstores.
As I walked there, I decided to teach myself Swedish.
Bagageutlämningen ==Baggage Claim Area. This would come in handy if I had any baggage to claim, but I like to carry it on board.
Utträde==No Exit. Being stuck in the airport can feel like there’s no exit, but I was having fun.
Mat och dryck==Food and beverage. Also known as two of my favorite words.
And then I reached my destination, where I was happy to find my book. Not only that, but the woman behind me in line was wearing the same sneakers as I.
I took that as a good sign and glanced at the Departures Board, where my flight had a new note: Ga till utgang==go to gate.
I got my exercise speed walking from one end of the airport to the other, and was rewarded for my efforts seeing välkommen till Stockholm. It is never too late to have a warm welcome.
As I neared my gate, I saw Hitta rätt==Find the way. That seemed fitting, since my trip, not just my time in the airport, was about finding my way.