This is Part 2 of my response to Amanda’s Friendly Friday Challenge on AIRPORT EXPERIENCES.
There’s something about airports that brings out the strange in people. Is that true? Maybe, it’s just that as captive audiences, we have more time to people-watch. Maybe, it’s not that people are more strange, just that we have more time to see them. Caught between checking-in and boarding an airplane, that’s what I do in airports – people watch.
In an airport, the impeccably dressed person is usually a business person traveling for work. I don’t take many short haul flights, so the business travellers I see are normally VIP-types. They travel in tailored suits and invariably board early as first-class passengers or executive air miles status carriers. On board, they whip out their computers, drink their complimentary champagne and settle in for seven straight hours of uninterrupted work.
I once met twin brothers who’d founded an extremely successful business. It was so successful that their work days were packed with meetings and customer calls. At work, they were so busy that they never had time to think. When they needed time to strategize, they’d book trans-Atlantic flights to and from Europe, just so that they could work on the plane.
At the other end of the spectrum are the travelers who dress casually and desperately look for ways to travel comfortably in economy class. They use travel devices like … Noise canceling headphones (I got it!) Neck pillows (I got that, too!) Eye masks (No.) Full body pillows (Inconsiderate for fellow passengers, don’t you think?) Suspendable foot hammocks (Maybe, yes?) Ostrich travel pillows … (Huh?)
The first time I saw the Ostrich pillow, it was in Haneda Airport. It was worn by a young man browsing the shops. He wore this ginormous cushion on his head, perched like a crown. It looked as if he’d decapitated a Teletubby and decided to wear it.
Real-life comedy happened when a troupe of gorgeous stewardesses stopped in front of the store and he tried chatting them up. Watching it all unfold, I marvelled at the indomitable confidence of youth.
I snapped a photo of the young man and his head pillow. But it wasn’t a very good photo and really, nothing to keep in the eternal annals of the internet.
Instead, I will share what I thought about. It’s how I imagine he imagined himself.