I seem to have spent so much time wasting my life in the past few years travelling to/from and sitting in airports. The only reason I mention it now is that I will be at an airport Saturday, Monday, Friday, Monday in the next nine days. It takes me back to my old schedule pre 9/11 except you could throw the occassional Tuesday and Thursday into that same two week mix.
I'm not sure what it is I don't like - definitely that some airports are worse than others. As a smoker I like to actually have somewhere I can enjoy a cigarette or 20 before I get on a metal tube I have no control over, preferably with a drink in my hand. Not so easy these days at most airports. I don't care about the duty free but I do care about the security check. I have no issue whatsoever about the stringency of the checks, it's the muppets in the queue in front of me that annoy me. What part of 'metal detector' doesn't make you think that all that gold jewellery you are wearing is not going to set the alarm off moron?
I don't like being hurried on to a plane for them to sit there for 45 minutes because they missed their slot to take off. To sit there, in air-conditioned hell while satan's spawn become restless and run around annoying everyone and not a drink in sight....lovely. Nor, when we land - people applauding. What for? It's the pilots bloody job to land the plane. I wouldn't get on the chuffing thing if I thought it was a chance thing.
Then comes the cacophony (usually Nokia) of mobile phones being switched on even before the plane has taxied to it's stand. "Hi, I've arrived - should be out in half an hour" - make the phone call inside!! Finally, the jumping up to escape as fast as possible. Why? So you can stand at the carousel waiting for your luggage and enjoy the ambience?
I used to like flying into Munich, except that customs used to grab me every single time. I once flew in on a Sunday night, knowing I was flying to Bruxelles on the Tuesday morning, back to Munich on the Thursday and returning to Manchester on the Friday. So, like a little boy scout, I packed a carry-on suitcase inside a bigger one. Customs pulled me. Usual questions, why are you here? How long for? When I replied "approximately 28 hours" he freaked and wanted to know why my suitcase was so big. "Because you didn't ask how long my trip away was for, only how long I was HERE for". After 5 minutes he got the idea, we chatted about the city, football etc. Flying back into Munich on the Thursday night, the same guy pulled me again. This time I was prepared..."Stop" I said, and recited all his favourite bars, restaurants, football team, players until he gave in and remembered my name from last time. HA put that it your lederhosen!
Would go and pack but I only do that about an hour before setting off. Got it down to a fine art now. I know where everything is and it's a lot easier now in Euro zone that you don't have to carry small bags of different currencies about. And as I have the art of pointing and nodding down to a fine art also, no need to speak foreign languages :-)