Anyone who has traveled by air in recent times, and particularly has done so off and on for decades, knows how the experience has dwindled in enjoyability. Nowadays it seems to go down a notch every year.
Have you seen the original version of the movie, “The Out-of-Towners”? Soon into the opening scene, Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis, having made the short drive in their station wagon from home to the local airport, easily stride into the casual, small terminal, directly to the ticket counter, and quickly out to board their plane, with nary a whiff of delay or security to be seen. How times have changed…
As a traveler of three flights in the last week, I have been part of the brotherhood (also, sisterhood, etc.) of long waiting at airports – which can easily include time aboard unmoving aircraft.
Inside airports, some people do a fair bit of wandering, some plunk themselves in a chair near their gate to read or navel gaze. Notwithstanding the restricted dimensions, there are some practical alternatives at reasonably sized facilities.
But what of the inspiration of actual air travel, up in the air well above the birds? Shouldn’t this inspire some ethereal creativity, in ways we wait in airports…
- Create a spontaneous club of toe nail self-inspectors
- Swallow varying amounts of water five times, then try to guess how close to a litre you guzzled (rinse & repeat)
- Build up a collection of wrappers from airport vendors, in order of least to most expensive contents
- Find out where in the terminal the freshest air is
- Find out where in the terminal the cleanest washroom is
- Give your carry-on luggage a spit ‘n polished look
- Find an accessible ‘soap box’ near foot traffic, and begin reading out loud from your latest work (published or not)
- Imagine interviewing the five most intriguing people you see
- Look around on the floor as if searching for something valuable, and see how many volunteers you can suck in
- Put bags, each with a question mark on its front, next to collection bins, for the unsure recycler
Airports can inspire their own flow of esoteric activities.