Ever since I boarded my first plane when I was a little girl of five or six, I am intrigued by everything around flying. I love planes and I love gateways, I love runways, and most of all, I love airports. I love baggage carts, steward’s costumes and pilot’s uniforms. Crowded terminals and the hustle and bustle of traveling people make me happy. Whenever I see a plane, I watch it, and when I am at an airport my heart skips a beat. Being there means to become connected with the world.
I sometimes go to the airport without passport and ticket just to soak in the atmosphere. I will stroll through the arrival hall and watch families with overloaded carts making their way to check-in counters, people who anxiously hurry to their gates, and business men to whom flying is nothing but daily routine. I will watch the huge boards announcing outgoing and incoming flights and dream about foreign countries order me a Chai Latte at Starbucks and browse through the international magazines at one of the many bookstores. I will board the magnet train connecting terminals and just travel from one to the other enjoying the view on the maneuvering area. I will step out onto the visitor’s terrace to watch planes from a short distance and imagine I was sitting in one of them on my way to an unknown destination.
There is no place on earth where you can hear as many different languages as at an international airport, and there is none where you can meet and watch as many different people. You will never be alone at an airport. There is always someone else, waiting for a connecting flight, checking-in early, having a nap on a seat in the transit zone.
In fact, you could well live at an airport for some time – the movie Terminal is not just a weird idea of Hollywood (well, except for the idea of being stuck in a transit zone because your country has ceased to exist). The bathrooms are almost always clean, there are showers, plenty of food counters, and even reasonably comfortable seats to sleep on. And of course, most airports offer a free WiFi connection nowadays (perfect for live blogging).
Dear international airports. I love you. Anna