Thursday, February 21, 2013

Heraclitan fire

You'll love the airport, we said to my husband. The airport is no longer a cold grey draughty hangar with nothing to do. The airport is fun nowadays, it all looks really cosmopolitan and you can even get a sort of decent coffee, even at five in the morning.

We went to the airport.

Where are the planes? asked my husband, always a model of perspicacity.

He had a point. There were queues and check in points, and shops, and a special place to unpack and repack your luggage because it was 500g over the limit and therefore the airline would charge you another $120 for it, and shops, and people from all over the world, and shops, and after you checked in and went to look for coffee there was coffee, and more shops.

No planes.

In other words, it was another shopping maul.

i used to take my small daughter to the airport to look at the planes. One day, i told her, we will go on a plane. We watched them sitting like fat white brides, being fussed over. We got excited when the planes took off and we found a place we could stand in Canterbury's usual howling wind and cover our ears while the planes roared around us. We would watch the people getting on and off and walking across the tarmac, coming and going from incomprehensible places. It was fun and it cost us little except the petrol and the parking, which was then relatively cheap.

Now, travel has become uncoupled from its means. i can fly to the other side of the world and never see a plane from the outside. i run the enticing and beautifully lit gauntlet of shops and cafes to, walk on a covered airbridge, fly across the globe, and the reverse the process.

My husband was not impressed by the new style shopping maul (oops, i mean airport). i have mixed feelings - i still like the buzz, the sense of transience, the glimpse of exoticism. And at least i got coffee. My musings were enhanced when we got to the pay station at the car park, and we saw this sign:

Change is possible? Inevitable, i'd say.

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