It’s always interesting to see how people behave in airports depending on who they are, how much time they have and how they are being treated.
Having checked in my paraglider as an extra bag and then proceeded to successfully clear security while carrying three laptops, I can’t claim to be the most ordinary traveller. But then again, the guy in the queue next to me was checking into business class while wearing his pyjamas and a pair of slip slops, so I’m certainly not the oddest. I’ll bet that he isn’t the oddest either – by quite a long way.
Airports are funny places. They’re filled with people travelling everywhere. Loads and loads of people with barely anybody interacting directly with the people around them other than when strictly necessary. I am surrounded by people with their attention focused on laptops, tablets, phones and even the occasional good old-fashioned paperback book. And, as I finish my observations, reach down to my bag, take out my laptop and log in, I too become one of those people.
The irony is that we’re as connected to everything as we’ve ever been, and yet, unless we’re actually travelling as a group, or by coincidence, we have no connection to the people around us at all. Nor, it seems, are we normally interested in creating any connection.
I have made myself one resolution however: before burying my nose in my book, phone or laptop, I am going to sit and look at the people around me and at what they’re doing and wonder at who they might be and what they might do. As I slow down writing and lift my eyes from my laptop I take another look to see who’s still sitting in the same place they were before, who’s new, who seems to know where they’re going, who’s wondering around like a lost sheep, who’s rushing off in a hurry, who looks like they’re in for a long wait…
And that’s it for now. I’m tired of writing and its time for me to load my shoulders with laptops and wander down to my gate to see whats going on… Actually, now that I think about it, writing this paragraph in the present tense doesn’t really make sense since I’m only going to post this later today, long after the events it describes.
And. after all is said and done, when my phone beeps, pings or trills, I’m going to reach for it as fast as the next guy. This is the blessing and the curse of modern technology.