Fight or Flight
You know those photos of Presidents that show the before and after their first term and it looks like they've aged 10+ years? Well I'm convinced that's going to be me after going to so many airports this summer. In my first two weeks here in England, I've traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland and Lyon, France. Both of which were beautiful, filled with great food, and (mostly) nice people. And before that I was in Barcelona, Spain, which was also wonderful. What's really interesting though is how every single person's attitude changes when they step through the doors of an airport. To be fair the airport isn't the most stress-free place to be, but you would think its the end of days with the way most people act.
At the airport we use in England the madness starts before you even get to security since the train arrives at one terminal and we usually take off from the other. There is a little tram that runs between the two terminals and for some reason people with the largest luggage feel the need to be the closest to the entrance doors, regardless of when they arrive on the platform. So after fighting your way through the jungle of luggage and squeezing yourself into the tiniest space possible, you then exit the train and proceed to escalators. The nice thing about international airports is that most of the signs have pictures, instead of words. So you would think a big sign with a picture of rolling luggage with a line through it would be easy to understand. You'd also think that people might stop to look at the sign when their luggage gets stuck between the bollards because its too big. However, as previously stated, this is not the case.
Speaking of easy to read pictures, security has used these very well. In each of the airports I've gone through there are handy-dandy pictures telling you what to take out and what is okay. These signs are also placed conveniently close to each other, so about every two feet you pass another one. I'm the type of person that likes to get through security as quickly as possible, with as little hassle as possible. Therefore I'm constantly scanning for the signs. I have no desire to be stopped or padded down or have my things riffled through - especially when everything is perfect wedged in so my backpack will just zip. The amount of people I see that come through will full water bottles astounds me. You can always spot the expert travelers by which security line they pick.
But the insanity stops after security right? Nope. Definitely not. It doesn't matter what airport or airline, once the announcement is made that boarding with begin (and sometimes even the announcement that boarding will be delayed), people race to get in line like kindergarteners for recess. As for me, I feel no rush to cram myself into a seat where even someone as short as me thinks the leg room is inadequate. The less time I spend next to Mr. I Deserve Both Arm Rests, the better.
Pictures of things that made me happy, because this post was such a downer.