One perk of having a fair amount of time on my hands is that I get to browse the New York Times online every morning (and often in the afternoon, and evening, and…) I have to admit that the Travel and Style tabs are my go-to spots, but I check out the front page, the international news, the occasional opinion piece, read Spanish headlines, check out the Tech section pretty regularly.
I was intrigued by Ethan Gilsdorf’s post-9/11 article of today, entitled “Rituals: Hanging Around the Airport, and Liking It.” In the atmosphere of security-frenzied, hospital-like airports and sardine-can seat arrangements, it’s all the rage to bash air travel. It’s expensive. They lose your bags. And they make you pay $4 for a pack of M&Ms. I get it.
But I couldn’t help but identify with the sense of relaxation he feels in airports. Even if it’s not the scenes at the beginning and end of Love Actually, there’s something really otherworldly about airports. And the people watching is unbeatable.
I especially liked this part: “Above all, it’s the perpetual option of suddenly being somewhere distant and different from my home that makes airports seductive. I could rush up to any ticket counter and buy a last-minute fare to Oslo or Detroit. I could be like the hero of a movie, following my whim to be with the woman my destiny has foretold. I gaze longingly at the departures screen: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Philadelphia, San Juan, Toronto, Zurich. I get destination envy.”