How to spend 8 hours in an airport
Airports are supposed to be interesting places to spend time in. There are so many people to observe and so much to absorb. Yet sometimes spending too much time in an airport is not that exciting, no matter how big it is and how many shops there are. Especially if you spend a third of your day in there and arrive so early that your flight does not even appear on the boards. Nonetheless, here are some things I learnt while waiting for a flight home:
– Airports are perhaps the busiest places there are, with people all yelling in their own languages as though no one else can understand them, to the extent that you can hear every word they are saying (particularly when you understand the language) even despite the loud music coming from your headphones.
– There are rude and kind people everywhere. You would just expect an airport to have more of the latter. Not everything is so obvious in a huge airport with a global population moving around in there – like for example the fact that you need to search for the right machine to issue your boarding pass before checking in your baggage.
– Some security checks are just over-exaggerated. Especially if the security control is borderline molestation. Next thing you know they’ll be x-raying underwear for explosives…
– Airports that are as huge as those in Central Europe have the luxury of offering guided tours. Because that is the way to spend your time there. And your money.
– Some airports advertise “duty free for all”. What they don’t tell you is that the prices are all increased so you think they are cheaper than outside…
– The shop windows at airports are extremely enticing. Then you go in and they tell you they don’t have the items advertised.
– Why is water in Germany so expensive? – half a litre is €3. It is as if they don’t have a great river flowing through the country…
– The time I spent wandering in the airport, my friend who left five hours before me could have actually caught another flight to his home and have landed before I even boarded the plane.
– Having slept for 20 hours over the past five days, you realise this was not enough. And you start thinking in French, talking in German while everyone thinks you are either Italian or Spanish (but never Greek which you are). At least you’re European.
– In this digital age everyone is constantly looking at a screen. And a place to charge it. Even when walking in the middle of a very busy airport.
This post was written and posted while at the gate before boarding. By the time I arrive I will have completed 14 hours travel time. Or rather, waiting time.
Written at Frankfurt airport on 13 April 2014.
Also part of Daily Prompt: Terminal Time
Also part of Daily Prompt: In Transit