Coffee sans Cigarettes

Sitting at a Starbucks in Charlotte Douglas International Airport, waiting for my next flight out.

Today marks the end of my first week on a very long buying trip. I haven’t written anything substantial on this blog in ages so I figured I’d just launch notepad, drink some coffee and see what comes up.

In the grand scheme of things, one week isn’t a very long time. But the duration of my trip is probably going to be the longest I’ve spent in a single stretch out of the country. Not that it matters. Personal milestone. Not really. I mean, it’s part of work, so it’s not really an achievement. Speaking of work, whenever people find out I get to travel for work, they think I have a dream job. I mean, sure it is great. You get to go to nice places, you get to eat fancy food, you get to see the world (albeit mostly through airplane and car windows), but that’s it for ‘fun’.

Besides the rare downtime (like I have now, which I should actually be using to get some other work done but I can’t be fucked because I’m exhausted getting up at 5 today) – our schedules are full. No days off, even on public holidays or weekends – after all, time is money and we’re here to work, not play.

So all I’ve been doing for the past week is buy books. Going through sales history of books. Going through our suppliers’ inventories in showrooms and warehouses to look for books. Suggesting how much books should be priced, and how many copies we need to take. It’s not difficult, but when you do it all day, every day, it does get tiring.

I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m complaining about work, because I’m not. I have a good job. It’s not my dream job, but it is very interesting, and it pays the bills. Also, I love books, so I can’t complain about being surrounded by books all the time. Like every job, it has its ups and downs.

Again, I don’t know why I typed out a whole essay about my job but I did.

Waiting at Charlotte Douglas International Airport is kinda annoying. To smoke, you have to exit the airport and go through security checks again just to reenter. I’m probably going to smoke 2 sticks when I land.

My flight leaves at 8pm. It is currently 5pm. I’ve got 2 and a half hours to kill before I head to the boarding gate.

This trip I noticed I’ve been listening to a lot less post-hardcore and pop punk. I’ve been listening to a lot of Birdy and Tegan And Sara. And Oasis. Catfish and the Bottlemen. And more Kavinsky. All great artists. I’m still a fan of palm mutes, chugs, power chords and breakdowns. But I guess I’ve just been feeling more mellow and chill. Lil Dicky is still on constant rotation though. That guy is too good to get rid from my playlist.

Last month I created a Spotify account for the first time. It’s pretty cool, but I don’t find myself going back to use it. Somehow I’m still a fan of locally stored music. Also, Spotify player is pretty ass. Foobar 2000 is life, don’t think I’ll ever replace it. However, access to brand new albums the day of release and easy way to share tracks with friends is great. Also, it’s nice to see what the people I follow are listening to on it. I noticed a lot of surprising scrobbles.

This airport is bustling. People just walking up and down past Starbucks nonstop since I sat down.

Yesterday, while having a smoke, I met a veteran. He was in the area for his son or grandson’s graduation. He told me he was stationed in Korea and Vietnam in the past. He told me about his injuries (apparently he had broken his legs, arms, fingers before). He told me that he was trapped in his hotel room last night because for some reason their door was stuck from the inside. He said his wife almost passed out due to her claustrophobia(?). He told me that in his spare time, he went camping alone with his two knives and an AK-47. He hunted snakes and sold them. He was an interesting old man who smoked orange Pall Malls.

This morning on my flight to Charlotte, the guy next to me started talking to me when the plane landed. He told me he was on a business trip and that he and his colleague were flying their wives in for the week to stay at their hotels as well. Get this, I wasn’t even smoking on the plane! He just opened up to me. Maybe I have a face that signals ‘I care’. If I didn’t write this down, I probably wouldn’t remember all this in a week’s time.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough on my blog for now. Maybe I’ll write again sometime this week. Maybe not.

I miss Snuggles. Hope she’s doing okay without me. She deserves a better friend.

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