Monday, December 6, 2010

Terminally Bored

In my role as the Timeshare Ambassador, I spend a lot of time in airports ... a LOT of time. And while I generally view them as soul-crushing nightmare spaces, you can occasionally find a glimmer of joy here and there in airport culture. Why, just this week Jay-Z announced he will be franchising his 40/40 Club to select airports around the country. For those of you not in-the-know, Jay-Z is a hip-hop performer/mogul and his 40/40 sports-themed night club in NYC is the who's-who's spot to watch major sporting events and the occasional shootout (just kidding). Seems Z thinks that airport travel is missing a place to watch the big game and buy expensive drinks. I'm not too sure about that dawg, but I would like to talk to him about trading roles for a day. I could see what it is like to be a mogul and he could try on the ambassador hat. Although I don't look particularly good in gold chains and running suits, if that is what they are still wearing.

Hey, speaking of waiting in terminals, do you remember that Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks movie, "The Terminal"? You know, the one where the fellow is stranded at JFK due to a series of mishaps and ends up living there? Well it seems that the story was based loosely on a true story. A fellow named Mehran Karimi Nasseri was expelled from Iran as a political dissident and a mix-up in is refugee paperwork left him stranded at Charles de Gaulle Airport in France on August 8, 1988. He stayed there until July 2006, when he became ill and had to be hospitalized. That's 18 years folks. Are you kidding me?! I've had some bad layovers in my time, but nothing compares with that. The only thing worse, I imagine, would be having to endure Tom Hanks mangle his way through that phony accent in the movie again.

And how about this guy Alain de Botton, who recently spent a week in London's Heathrow Airport as a "writer is residence". Yeah, he set up a desk in Terminal 5 - you know the baggage shredding one - and wrote about what he saw. He took in a lot of predictable sights: tearful goodbyes, frantic running, the occasionally tantrum, and lots of just waiting around. But he also picked up on some subtler things, like the amount of kissing that goes on in an airport terminal. He noted that once you become aware of it, it's a virtual love-fest in these places. And now that he's pointed it out to me, I wish that he hadn't. That notwithstanding, it's great little book called "A Week at the Airport," and I recommend it. If nothing else, read the part about the guy whose job it is to comb the runway for stray bits of metal. From where might this runway metal be coming, you ask? Read the book, or if you'd prefer not to know, don't.

Well, they've just announced that my flight is going to leave today after all. So I guess I'll wrap this up and go do some more waiting in the gate area of EWR. If you are not hip on your airport codes, that's Liberty International Airport in Newark, NJ. And if you were flying from Wenatchee Airport in Washington to Sembach Airport in Germany, you'd be going from EAT to SEX, which doesn't sound like a bad trip at all. I wonder if they have timeshares in Sembach?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Seymour, you've got me busting out laughing on that line about the airport codes, EAT to SEX.... a RIOT! (Did not expect that.) You are truly a funny (and knowledgeable) timeshare traveler!