I was asked once in a speed date setting what the optimal super power would be. I chose teleportation because I spend so much time traveling I get tired of removing my shoes and belt, taking my computer out of my backpack, watching people forget their water bottle is somehow a hidden explosive and having to go through security twice, me walking through the scanner machine and waiting for the authoritative half-nod from the quasi security team that, yes, I can proceed with my day.
You therefore know I’m waxing poetic when I’m now thinking of going through airport security with a touch of, dare I say it, fondness. See, I returned to Europe three days ago with French races on the horizon and when catching up with friends here in Girona, my European home for six years of the past ten years, I was asked what I would miss in my retirement. I started by casting a broad swath over it and said I’ll miss everything — the excitement, the euphoric highs, the adventure, the travel; then I delved a little deeper and talked about the nuances of each of these things that I’ll miss, like the searing pain of doing intervals, or the constant feeling of being on the go, and then I surprised even myself when I said, yup… there’s even something I’ll miss about airport security. (Although I think it’s people watching more than the security process itself.)
Peaches and plums and nectarines, oh my! I’ve expressed my love of stone fruit before, and once again, my late spring return to Europe has stone fruit absolutely dominating it at the local market. It may sound a bit odd, unless you’re like me, but I like my peaches hard. I grew up a juicy peach kind of kid, but these days there’s nothing I want more than a crisp, almost apple-like peach. On the other end of the spectrum, I like my cherries sweet, bulbous, and bursting with juice. There’s nothing finer.
And why am I on this fruity tangent? Because among the other things I’ll miss about this lifestyle here in Girona is that I can walk out my door, saunter down to the local market, and my local fruit guy knows that I prefer my peaches hard and my cherries soft. He and his wife are fair weather fans of cycling, so they get giddy when the Vuelta Catalonia races through town. They asks me about training every day when I stroll into his shop and pick up some fruit or vegetables, or what race I’m heading off to next.
The “inefficiencies” of Europe are actually the charming nuances that I’ll miss. In Europe you have a fruit guy, you have a local bakery for fresh bread, your meat market is a one minute walk from your fishmonger (great word), and your local cafe serves cappuccinos that you’d pay twice as much for — they’re that good. Living in a medieval city from the BC era is uniquetly spectacular too.
Yeah yeah, I’m probably just waxing poetic talking about missing airport security. In reality it ranks very low on what I’ll miss list.