After speaking with a representative, Noah walks away from the Tax-Free Refund counter at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen. Voices from a loud speaker echo off the walls in a language he doesn’t understand. Noah is thirty-years-old, dressed in a pair of gray slacks, camel hair sweater, and a black cashmere jacket he had custom made while living in China. He stuffs an envelope containing a receipt from ECCO shoe store into his jacket pocket. Takayo, his wife, walks beside him with her hands in the pockets of her long black coat. She is wearing a brand new pair of shoes.
Takayo: You should have lied to that woman.
Noah: Yea, I know. You think I’m losing my touch?
Takayo: Maybe. How badly did you want that $25?
Noah: Not that bad, I guess. I wonder if they’d consider it tax fraud.
Takayo: Dunno. You should try it though. Let me know how that works out for you.
Noah: I definitely should have lied to her -- for the principal.
Takayo: It doesn’t matter if you’re an American. You live in the EU; you’re not entitled to get the tax back.
Noah: I know, but it would’ve been nice to blow that money in duty free. I still like to consume like an American.
A digital sign hangs down from the three-story high ceiling by the gate entrance.
Takayo: 10 minutes?
Noah: What? Is that a long time?
Takayo: This is a first world country. It should not take ten minutes to get through security.
Noah: We still have two hours before our flight.
Takayo: And we’re going to need it to go shopping in duty free.
TSA agent: Express lane! Checks passport and boarding pass. Right through there, sir.
Noah: Which one of these lines looks the least incompetent?
Takayo: Probably the last one. Jesus. I wish people would learn how to travel.
Noah: How hard is it? You put everything in your jacket pockets, take off your jacket, and put it in the damn bin.
Takayo and Noah begin transferring items from their pant pockets to their jacket pockets.
Takayo: Look at the woman up there. She’s filled up two bins. Dead serious.
Noah: You think she’ll get though the metal detector without it going off.
Takayo: Yea, right.
Noah reaches into back pocket, retrieve a small bottle of vodka. He quietly unscrews the cap, takes a swig.
Takayo, turns around, sees the bottle: What the hell are you doing?
Noah: I have to get rid of this. It’ll never get through security.
Takayo: Are you serious? That’s so embarrassing.
Noah: Flying makes me nervous. I could say that, right? Timidly: ‘Flying makes me nervous.’ That sounds believable. Takes another swig.
Takayo: No, it sounds low class.
Noah: People drink in airports all the time.
Takayo: Yeah, in the bar. No one wants to stand next to the guy chugging vodka in the security line.
Noah: I’m not chugging. And nobody’s looking at me. Besides, I’ll get through the metal detector without it going off.
Takayo: I hope they detain you.
Noah takes one last swig, walks over to trash can and drops bottle in with a clank, accidentally kicking a baby seat on the floor in the process.