Another Airport

Once again, I'm sitting in an airport gate area waiting for my connecting flight. Many people love airports because to them they symbolize the starting point of a holiday or an exciting trip. I used to feel the same way but as I travel more and more things have changed a bit.

I hate airports.

Every time I'm getting ready to fly to my next destination I dread going to the airport. There is something incredibly tedious about airports. I dislike the over-prized mediocre food served at airport restaurants. I dislike the huge crowds of (usually loud) people walking through the gate area, and I dislike the refrigerated - some like to call it air conditioned - seating areas. However, what really gets to me are the endless lines in front of everything: check-in, security check, gate, coffee place, bathroom, you name it!
Now, you probably think I'm being impatient and snobby and there is definitely truth in that. I admit, I'm having a hard time being patient in airports (and in planes for that matter, some people urgently need instructions on how to effectively board and leave a plane) but also because once I get to the airport I'm usually either
a) on a layover and exhausted from the earlier flight (because once again I couldn't get a real rest)
b) leaving a place that I've come to like and possibly leaving good friends and people I've come to love behind and, therefore, emotionally a bit more fragile than usual.

I deal with it. 

Although, I'm trying to avoid to travel by plane I won't be able to completely avoid the hassle of going through an airport. Plus, there will always be border control agents who make you wait in long lines before they have a look at your passport no matter which way you enter a country. There will be lines at bus stations, train stations, ports, supermarkets, movie theaters and plenty of other places and I'll have to deal with it.
My strategy is simple. I'm trying to be kind and patient with airport staff and fellow travelers and I've learned that a friendly hello and a smile will go a long way. Also, if I can find a good coffee place and a (reasonably) quiet corner where I can get either some work or reading done, I know I can spend a layover quite happily. Hopefully, it will always work...

Waiting Zone at the Airport - Rainer Sturm  /


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