So Fall Break is happening and everyone is fleeing campus like rats from a sinking ship. Many people have the luxury of being able to take a short train ride or drive home, some of us have to fly. Because I hail from the great Upstate New York, I’m used to flying places. We’re not close to anywhere, If you want to get somewhere you gotta fly (or suffer a 14 hour family road trip. It happened once, my family still isn’t the same.) So what am I doing right now? You guessed it, champ, I’m stuck at the Philadelphia InterfuckingNational Airport. And I’m loving every minute of it. Sort of.
Airports get a lot of hate, and rightly so, horrible things happen in and around them. Delays, layovers, lost bags. Air travel sucks. No other industry can slap you with a $75 dollar fee for the extra pair of jeans that made your bag 25.1 kilos instead of 25, then strip search and photograph your naked body, then pack you into a flying tin can and make you breath recycled air for 4 hours and still be successful. But these things happen, its the nature of the flying beast. (And while I’m on the subject, I’m so Team Window Seat its unreal. Why would you want to sit in the aisle and let every jackass who wants to go to the bathroom or walk back to talk to whoever he got on the plane with. Fuck the aisle I’m posting up on the window seat 10/10 times.
To be explicitly clear. Fuck the airlines. Continental, Delta, US Airways –> Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini. Thats not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about airports themselves. The physical buildings that house these atrocious practices really aren’t that bad. So why do I love airports? Glad you asked.
Rounding Second Base With TSA OfficersGateway to wherever.Alright, easy, I know this is beginning to sound very Tumblr/TheOddessy/InsertBullshitBlogHere, but hear me out. I love travelling. Being in a location with hundreds of people who are going different places for God knows what reason is great. Being in an airport means you’re going somewhere, and for someone as restless as I am, that’s awesome. Plus there’s always the availability of other flights, so there’s a chance (very small) that I could say “Fuck going home, I’m going to Bangkok for the weekend (actually no one plans to go to Bangkok, from what I’ve heard you just kinda wake up there.) You can’t beat that kind of freedom.
- Controlled Anarchy
So TSA has all these bullshit regulations about liquids, weapons, and live animals in your carry on. I can’t say I get it but they make the rules. (Yet after I had to jump through hoop after hoop to get to my gate, I’ve been hearing a beeping noise thats been getting progressively faster for the past 3 minutes and no one seems concerned. What the fuck?! Pull your shit together TSA)….. anyway the rules are whats perfect. People are so concerned about TSA this, Boarding Time that, that all the normal rules of society crumble within an airport. Cutting off old ladys with your suitcase, shoving your way past small children on the escalator, taking up both outlets in the gate waiting area, anything goes really. (Currently pulling that last one so I can provide you all with my witty observations about airport life and this hardo in a blazer is mean mugging the shit out of me. Suck it loser.)
- Time and Judgement Cease to Exist: Good news, the beeping stopped, probably wasn’t an explosive… probably. On to my next point. This is the true beauty of airports. There is no time. You want to eat a cheeseburger a 10:37 AM? Be my guest. You want to slam vodka martinis at 2 PM to take the edge off this business trip? Be my guest, and put it on the company card. You want to go to a Hudson news and buy that neck pillow that makes you look like a glue sniffing weirdo? Go ahead, no one’s judging you, sport. This is the real beauty of the airport life. There is no better place to see the full on bizarreness of humanity than an airport. From that douchebag in a suit who only travels business class to the dad who has been travelling with 3 toddlers for 12 hours now and is silently praying for the plane to go down, airports really do have it all.
- Bringing People Together- Let’s face it, flying fucking sucks, you spend your day getting poked, prodded, and searched. And you pay for it. Awful. It doesn’t matter how wasted you get at the airport bar, trust me I tried, nothing will piss on your parade like air travel. But the thing is, hating the airlines is like hating Adam Sandler. (Yeah, the airlines used to be great when they were younger too). So back in the 60’s flying was great in a Frank Sinatra/ Pan AM kinda way, but it’s 2015 now, Bruce Jenner is a woman, and Adam Sandler is playing himself and his twin sister in movies (oh how times have changed.) This widespread hatred of the airlines contributes to this us/them attitude that isn’t seen anywhere else nowadays. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the fallout from a cancelled flight but its mob fucking rule. America is a relatively civilized country, but if you fuck someone’s flight up, its torch and pitchfork time. You really don’t see man helping his fellow man anymore, that is, unless a plane full of pissed off New Yorkers stuck in Reno are gearing up to tar and feather whichever airline exec they can get their hands on.
So in summation, airport culture isn’t that bad. Widespread hatred of authority, lack of judgement when it comes to otherwise unacceptable behavior, and the ability to move around the world at your finger tips. Don’t get me wrong, this place is a crater and deserves to be expunged (good word) from this Earth. Philadelphia International Airport, and the bastard airlines running it: please eat shit and die.
PS- Hour and a half later and I’m still here, listening to two grown men talk about moccasins. Kill me. Please.