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Yesterday at the Nikola Tesla airport, while waiting at the gate to board our flight, a lady approached us and asked if we were willing to answer a few questions about the airport. We were more than willing. Fire away, we told her.

The questions were about the efficiency of the airport staff, cleanliness of the washrooms, ease of finding what we needed and a few more on those lines. She asked us what our rating would be for the airport out of five. We answered all her questions truthfully and she scribbled them in her notepad.

The final part consisted of our nationality and year of birth/age. The L&M gave his age as sixty-eight. As she scribbled it down, I thought we were done. But she turned to me and asked for my age too.

“Sixty-three.” I replied.

Suddenly she stopped scribbling and looked at me.

“Sixty-three?” she asked quizzically.

“Sixty-three,” I nodded.

My birthday falls in June and it hasn’t been too long since I celebrated my sixty-third, so I should know!

“No, you can’t be!” she said in a surprised tone and then quickly followed it up with laughter when she realised how that must have sounded. How could I be wrong about my age?

“You don’t look sixty-three though,” she smiled, putting her pen away. The ‘interview’ was over. Walking away, she added, “You look good for sixty-three. You really do!”

This was quite unexpected, especially when people I know tell me I should dye my hair and hide the grays to look younger! I can’t be bothered. It is a lot of unnecessary ‘work’ as far as I am concerned. Anyway, I am quite comfortable with my salt and pepper look. I know it willl be equally so if my hair turned all white too

Anyway, as I watched her retreating back, II couldn’t help but grin at this little something, a piece of Belgrade memory, I was going to carry home with me.

© Shail Mohan 2022