Here we go again, I can’t help myself but every time I’m at an airport I think of those thousands of people converging from all over the world and the different reasons behind their presence at that moment : business, leisure, family, medical or simply transit…
So I watch these bustling activities around me but…with the eyes of a 17th century man, yes a man not a woman. I suppose the reason behind this “gender swapping “ outlook is that unlike nowadays, women were a minority at the traveling stations. Seeing them now equal in number to men, moving freely and easily, is in fact :
-a way of recognizing these drastic changes and the updated demographic dynamics in the passengers’ hubs, and
-appreciating the advance in technology that reshaped the travel industry..
So airports have this scene-from-a-science-fiction-movie effect on me, something I’ve never felt when I watched humankind’s greatest leap in the transportation field : Apollo 11 landing on the moon! I know some would raise their eyebrows in disagreement but when this milestone was broadcasted live on television, I was too young and wasn’t among the 500 millions who followed – avidly or skeptically- Armstrong’s first steps on the moon..I missed the real deal, I missed the buzz…
Back to the airports, the millions of people are not watching the action, they are the action, we are part of the same scene that’s being replicated at the same time, at different airports around the world.
Jules Verne comes to my mind too…“Around the world in 80 days” ?! We are way past that.
Hence, for the person that I am, cursed or blessed with the wanderlust bug, I am definitely living in the right century: the easiness and speed in moving from place to place and the comfort we enjoy on board nowadays never fail to amaze me. It’s not the Titanic or Orient Express kind of luxury, but it’s definitely the one that appeals to me : massage before and during the flight, bespoke meals concocted by an inflight chef, a flat bed with crispy white linen, pyjamas and a pair of slippers for an unparalleled comfort, a bathroom bigger than my guest toilet in my birth country with the possibility to book a hot shower (timed but), a lounge bar and a praying area. Well, that’s Etihad Airways for you and I’m certainly a fan.