Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Optimist's Layover

The positive points about having a 12 hour+ layover at the Melbourne Airport:
  • People watching is fabulous, there are even sub-categories.
    • Fashion: Its a never-ending fashion show. A never-ending, international fashion show. A never-ending, international, “this is what I wear to travel” fashion show.
    • Communication: listening to people talk to each other is fascinating. You can tell so much tones and body language, especially when these people are in a stressful situation like being late for a flight, trying to manage 1.5 kids and accessories, or attempting to communicate in other languages.
    • Technology: Oooo, is that the new Samsung Black Hole device that guy is holding?
    • Customs: I just some women say good bye by kissing on the right cheek, then left, then right again. I wonder where they are from?
  • You suddenly feel a special bond with Tom Hanks.
  • You gain a sense of accomplishment (and selfishness) by finding the best places to sit. Qualifications to rate these places include access to multiple electric outlets, chairs without armrests in the middle so you can take a nap, or two, and distance from questionable fellow travelers. This is going to be your home for 12 hours, so a critical eye is needed.
  • You are one of the few people in the building not in a hurry (and there's a lot of people). You're not even permitted to check in for another day basically (12 hours) which is still several hours before your flight leaves. You get to sit back, and enjoy your pre-packed lunch, and snack, and dinner, while everyone else runs around like chickens.
  • You get to play the language game. Is that Chinese, Japanese or Korean that family is speaking? Finnish or Dutch? You start to try to figure it out by what they look like, or their clothing...but then you start to feel racist (ethncicist?). 
  • A re-renewed feeling of awe and admiration for parents that travel with kids. Great parents are amazing, but parents who travel with kids and manage to try to have fun while keeping everyone fed, clean and alive are basically superheros. They should be allowed at the front of all lines and given some kind of medal at the end. Or maybe a big drink...and a babysitter.

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