Airports are a great place to observe a lot of things. I have just spent ten hours waiting in three airports—
One of the jobs I have held is, as a ground crew in an airport in Mumbai with a well known airline, many years back. So I could very well relate to the ground crew in all the airports, the pressures they work under, the problems they face and above all, the way they have to be super polite to the passengers (Or guests if you happen to travel on kingfisher!) no matter even if they have had two depressing, maniacal, ready-to-drop-down-dead night shifts in a row and the pot bellied asshole guest/passenger’s gaze does not go above their chest level.
You see all kinds of people at an airport terminal. There are usually the well traveled yuppies. They know where the electric sockets at each airport are located—and as soon as they have their boarding card, they make a beeline to it. Out comes the laptop—in goes the plug and clackety clack go the fingers. They remain buried,modern ostriches, with the proverbial head in the sand, the sand here being replaced by a state of the art laptop, oblivious to the world, till the boarding announcement is made. Some unique specimens miss that too and the ground crew, has to hunt for them, scouring the length and breadth, the nooks and crannies of the airport and track them down. Once the boarding card is issued the flight cannot take off without you.
Then there is the nervous travelling- with-the- baby-first-time couple. The baby is swaddled in layers of blanket, sweater and a woollen cap covering the tiny head and ears completely. Each whimper brings on a fresh set of worries. The baby usually sleeps before boarding and screams through out the duration of the flight, non-stop. If its decibel levels could have generated energy like in Monsters Incorporated I think the energy generated would be enough to go around the moon twice and back.
There is usually also the Pretty young thing (PYT), travelling alone. The PYT can be identified by the number of DYMs (Desperate Young Males) all occupying seats around her ,pretending to be busy but noticing every little move she makes, out of the corner of their eye. They don’t miss a single thing. She is usually bored, uninterested or already has a boy-friend waiting.
There is also the old couple travelling together. I find most of them really sweet. It reinforces my faith in relationships, in love, in life. The husband will usually ask the wife is she is hungry, tell her to rest her feet up so they hurt less, will go and get a cup of coffee or tea for her and usually are very engrossed in each other.
Once I have encountered a drunk well dressed lady who was carrying two bottles of Jack Daniels in a transparent polythene bag, and everyone around her was trying to avoid making eye contact, while she was hunting for anyone who would listen to her talk. I felt sorry for her. Loneliness can be a terrifying thing.
The video I have posted above from the Movie Love actually is one of my favourite scenes in the movie. The lines are so meaningful.
Airports teach you many things about Human nature. All you have to do is look,not just see.