|Flying over English countryside|
I can’t believe I used to like airports. I had to actually go back to believe it myself, and in one of my previous blogs I actually wrote this about airports:
Airports, the havens of roaming restless souls, are one of my favorite places in the iron&concrete world. Their concept is simple; they host a bunch of luxurious stores that no one you know can afford, large windows that give you an insight into the mysterious life of planes, and rows and rows of slippery, possibly uncomfortable chairs that are in constant usage of passer-bys. For me airports represent the highest form of inspiration – so many people around me, so many great stories! I always feel fascinated when at airports.
One of my favourite places in the world? Seventeen-year-old me had obviously never spent 18 hours on the Moscow airport where the only thing to do is look for an empty gate so you’ll have some privacy to do some yoga stretching (and you’ll still get funny looks from the two guys that look like they spend their every waking hour either being at the gym or dreaming about the gym – it’s not like you don’t understand the benefits of sports). Seventeen-year-old me had also never missed a connecting flight, ran for a plane while the way is blocked by a family of five where each one of them – even the baby – is rolling suitcases with wheels, or paid ten euros for a baguette that is 70% hard bread and 30% maybe tomato? Or chicken? You can’t tell, because the baguette’s been sitting in that window ever since the Earth was created, and after 30+ hours of travelling your eyes are so tired anyway that you can’t tell a little kid apart from a waste bin.
Honestly, how come connecting flights are never late? Ever? Ever since the unholy communion of the Devil in the sky also known as Ryanair quit their flights from Tampere (right after the airport had finished a three-million-euro renovation on a terminal exclusively meant for Ryanair flights), I have had to fly with Norwegian from Helsinki. And boy, do they love to direct your flights through Oslo! Maybe I could splurge another fourty euros more to get the direct connection, but maybe I could also buy cheese this week. I’ve spent so much time on the Oslo airport I should have my own lounge there by now, and mostly this is due to missing my connections. How come my first flight leaves half an hour late and my connecting flight departures ten minutes early? Is this destiny or coincidence? Am I meant for a greater deed on the Oslo airport?
At least I have wifi so i can binge-watch Twin Peaks while I’m waiting for the next flight which, by the way, doesn’t take off until eight hours later. That is, if the wifi works…
We can send a man to the moon but somehow we can’t make my phone automatically connect to the wifi set-up start page. Instead, I have to manually keep opening tabs after tabs, disconnecting and reconnecting, in pursuit of the elusive wifi log-in page. Finally I have caught up to it and triumphantly click on the “Connect to free wifi NOW” button. It wants me to fill in my personal information. Annoying, but two people (cyborgs?) can play this game, so I give the machine the e-mail address I created when I was twelve and haven’t been using probably since, and my cleverly thought-up alias, John Smith. But now, good ol’ email@example.com doesn’t fool this machine, so I have to yield and give it my actual e-mail address. At home I notice that I have now subscribed to twenty spam/scam mails a day and apparently most of them think I have won an iPhone and/or 5000 Zanzibar dollars in cash but hey, it was worth the ten minutes of Facebooking I had time to do before I had to run for my flight because they decided to announce the departure gate ten minutes before gate closes, and that gate is so far down the aisle it might as well be on a different airport. (I’m looking at you, Stanstead London.)
Oh, but actually the wifi only works if you sit on the third seat from the left in front of the Dolce&Gabbana sunglass stall, and that seat has already taken by a demon child, that is trying his best to summon Satan using his excellent howling prowess.
Kids are bad as it is, but kids at airport are the worst. (Although I am willing to give that baby a freepass that pointed at me and happily called me, I quote, “ka-KAA” and it made me laugh because I was tired.) If there are three unhappy babies on a flight, you bet that on the airplane one of them sits in front of me, the other one behind me and the third one next to me. For someone who isn’t planning on having babies, I somehow seem to magically attract them. I understand that you are hungry/tired/bloodthirsty and that’s why you have to scream. I understand, I really do, because I feel the same way. However, you don’t see me trying to force my lungs out of my mouth with a shrilling audio-track that is your voice, so could we all just adult for a bit or otherwise I might start bawling too.
Oh and hey, kids? You don’t have to loudly announce it everytime you see a plane. We are at the goddamn airport.
And do you know what’s even worse than babies? Babies on wheelies. It’s like combining the two most sinister things in the universe into one big, malevolent being. Those baby suitcases that they can cruise on top of might look cute, but they are deceiving since they hold the most evil power on the earth: they both block people from walking straight, and they annoy them with the child’s screaming. What’s the deal with wheelies anyway? People drag them carelessly behind them like they don’t acknowledge that a normal human doesn’t, actually, take up two meters of floor space when they’re standing up. You’re not Jabba the Hut, now walk your wheelie next to you like you would your dog. You have not known pain until you’re running for a flight that departs in five minutes and a whole Indian village of people, each dragging a wheelie, blocks your way.
I am so done with airports. As soon as I find a horse with wings I am so done and those customs officers will never see me again.
Except for the ones at Singapore Changi. That airport knows things. Good things.
What are your airport pet peeves?