Having boarded about 9 planes in the last 4 weeks including 4 international flights I’ve had the luxury of spending some quality time in the fine airports of Nairobi, London, and Amsterdam. However, it’s not simply these airports that seem to create the atmosphere of an airport. An airport has no particular schedule, instead it’s crammed full with the schedules of hundreds of flights and thousands of people. The Airport is somewhere you can enjoy a cocktail at 8am, catch the long and sad goodbyes of strangers, and just generally walk amongst people that seem to be in a half-lucid state of their own. It’s truly an interesting place.
But what’s gets me about airports is the endemic sense of urgency. Yes obviously there’s the family running down the aisle as you hear what you assume to be their names in the PA system, but a different sense of urgency. The most interesting thing I’ve always come across is the initial boarding line-up, whereabouts you have the boarding call and at least a hundred people rush out of their seats to try and get a good spot in the line. They can exhaust a breath of fresh air knowing that they are about 20th in line and are content to stand and wait. They are not waiting to be exiting the plane and being outside a confined space, they do not receive any benefit from entering the place early, no, they are waiting in line to sit down in your assigned seat and wait again for the rest of the passengers to enter the aircraft. So what’s the point? I’ve always been more than content to ignore the first few boarding calls and enjoy the last few pages of my book as I watch the slow process of the boarding line finally draw to a close. Why wait to simply wait again?