On airports

Oh, how I love going to the airport. I both love and hate airports at the same time. On the one hand, the aesthetics of airports are horrific at best, at worst they are cross between the Inquisitions dungeon and public courthouse designed by drunk engineers (why are there nothing but foyers in this building?). I am imagining that airports are hard to design because you have to be able to park airplanes outside the building, but you also must manage foot traffic to the tune of hundreds of thousands a day. These requirements are not compatible. So the architecture stinks, the chairs are not comfortable, the bathrooms are lousy, the restaurants, with a couple of exceptions, are awful and expensive, a beer costs twelve dollars, Micky D’s makes the hamburgers, the bookstores only have the latest bestsellers, the candy is overpriced and stale, and those little carts that run up and down the concourses are trying to run you down. Even going to Starbucks is of little comfort. And then there are the endless gate changes and waiting, the flat-screened televisions tuned to CNN, the crying babies, the announcements for other people’s flights. I swear if I didn’t know any better that this is the second ring of hell in Dante’s Inferno, right next to the hedonists and the gossips. All of this after you passed through security. And the dramas: airports are full of lost people, lonely people, sad people, crazy people, crazy business people, people who should be on meds, in a hurry people, passive people and strange people. And what about the first time flyers who think they have just landed in the middle of an insane video game with no way out? The cast of characters is almost inexhaustible, but if it exists, you will see it an airport. If I run into Captain Renault and Rick, I’ll take a picture. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, the problems of two people really don’t amount to a hill of beans. And the people carrying the family chihuahua in a neat little case? Finally, I will get in line, go through the gate, and get on my plane, and isn’t that the ultimate function of any airport? Get me where I’m going? Enough said