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Visitors to the Oakland International Airport.

Last-minute gift shopping at Oakland International Airport

on December 1, 2016

If you forget to bring your mother-in-law a gift when you visit for the holiday, you can buy her a set of “Mindful Mandala Cards” for $18 from the souvenir vending machine at the Oakland International Airport. If she’s not that kind of woman, you might get her a “Golden Gate Bridge Flour Sack” for $14 instead (flour not included). For $28, you can win (or lose) several adored auntie points by bringing your nieces and nephews a “Woodland Animal Felted Mask,” so think carefully before pressing “1, 5” into the machine. If you’re the guilty type, you might tuck some “California Grass Fed Beef Liver Dog Treats” into your suitcase for Fido, who watched you leave this morning with doleful eyes.

All of this you can get with a thoughtful push of a button while you order a Lyft, a company that wants you to know–in vivid pink–that they have “Rides on Tap.” If you can’t afford a Lyft because you have spent all your money on Organic Ginger Lip Balm (planes are always so dry), or don’t drink enough craft beer to know what “Rides on Tap” means (Yet! May we suggest some places on Telegraph?), you can call a loved one from the pay phone to pick you up–but keep it short because it will run you 50 cents a minute. If you don’t know how to use payphone because you’re under 30 (and who carries change, anyway?) you can also charge your iPhone at the payphone station.

Once you have properly stimulated the economy, the next step is to figure out where you belong. If you came in from Portland, the Columbia down parkas and throngs of flannel seem to be congregating around Carousel 1. If you flew up from Los Angeles, the neck pillows and Louis Vuitton are milling about Carousel 2. If you’re the gal wearing the bedazzled “Where’s My Margarita?” shirt, we would direct you to the Visitor’s Desk for advice.

If you’re still lost, you’re not alone: check in with the kind-eyed woman straight ahead who is passing out pamphlets about our Lord and Savior. According to her, there is a great article about the spirit of giving on page 12–dog-ear it for when it is your turn to present your Mindful Mandala later.


  1. […] Last-minute gift shopping at Oakland International Airport by Cassady Rosenblum […]

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