Friday, May 4, 2007

I love airports!

My plane is late and I couldn't be happier! I'm at a airport, one of the last meccas of real human-to-human communication. Everywhere around me, people are talking to each other--not to their cell phones (at least not all of them, or rather, not all the time). Not to themselves. I'm one of the few even typing on my computer. And to think I'm at San Francisco airport--gateway to Silicon Valley!

Sure I have things I should be doing. So does everyone else here. We rub shoulders with fellow travelers and talk about the smallest things. One lady just asked her fellow conventioneer travelers, "Do you throw your magazines away after you read them, or do you keep them?" And about that convention--wish I was there: "Last night I laughed my butt off! And did you know, laughing is the best calorie burner of them all?"

At the airport bar, I sidle into a bloody mary and chat with people in the Airport Way. Where are you going? Where are you from? and occasionally What is your name?

That's further than you usually get at the local coffee shop, where you can people watch all you want, but rarely get as intimate in communication as talking to someone actually there (local being, in this case, New York City, a quaint village on the East Coast of the United States of America).

Right now, as far as I'm concerned--let the plane circle the airport a few thousand more times. What can I do? When you're stuck, you're stuck, and--at least in this case--at the airport--it's a refreshing experience.

Naturally, I may not feel the same if I have to spend the night.


Unknown said...

Airports (and sometimes airplanes) seem to offer the best of anonymity and prolonged contact. "Waiting" is an interesting condition.

Have fun on your trip!

Three Rooms Press said...

Waiting at an airport has the added plus of a fairly comfortable, and hopefully non-threatening environment, similar to the "strangers on a train" situation. Oddly, I find that people talk more in the airport than they do on the plane these days. In fact, the apparent correct etiquette once on board a plane is to AVOID talking, or looking out the window. My seat mate actually closed my window seat window shade during the flight from SF to Orange County as I lightly dosed. Next time, I bring an extra set of eyeshades so I can hand them to the silent aisle seat passenger and keep my sense of connection with the outside world in tact.

Anonymous said...

I go to school abroad, and am from the Bay Area, so I spend more time than most in the SFO International Terminal. I must say it is one of my favorite places in the world. I totally agree that airports are one of the few places left in the world where there is real mixing of cultures and personal experiences. Dubai Airport is another example of a place where people from almost every corner of the globe come to mix.