All Posts Tagged ‘Airport

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Running fast

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Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

Running as fast as I can is what it comes to my mind first when I think on airport terminals. This is what happened to me most of the times I had to take a plane. People use to talk about long waiting times. Well, not my case. I have flown often to Croatia to see my family there, stopping off in Frankfurt, a huge airport, the biggest in Europe. I always arrived with almost no time and a lot of distance to make to find my boarding gate. No time to meet people nor to visit the shops, only to run with my hand bag from one gate to another.

One year I took a flight stopping off in Paris (Charles De Gaulle Airport). I thought that being smaller, I would have fewer difficulties than in Frankfurt, but I was wrong. It was chaotic. I got disoriented. There was no way to find the right gate for my flight to Zagreb. Plus, the security measures stopped me a lot of time. All because of a can with sweets I had bought in Spain as a gift to my cousins. I heard how they called my name through the speakers. And I saw how they were about to close the door, when the police stopped me again because of the damned can of sweets. Thanks God, the attendant saw me and waited for me with the door open a few moments and I was able to enter the plane. Of course I was the last passenger.

I’ve never came back to that airport.

 

 

In Transit.

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Trip to Zagreb (II)

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Earlier in the course, you wrote about losing something. Today, write about finding something. For your twist, view day four’s post and today’s post as installments in a series.

Here is a link to the part I of this story

I can’t wait any more. There is no time left. The boarding time is approaching and I’m still waiting. I have my ticket with my reservation confirmed and I’m not going to be left behind. For the tenth time I go to the checking-in desk. It’s my last opportunity.

This time, the same JAT’s attendant that had rejected me nine times before, asks me now why am I so late! I can’t believe it. But I don’t have time to argue. I sigh in relief. At least I’m going to fly to Zagreb. I will be able to cover for my news agency and my newspaper the first free elections in Croatia and the political crisis in Yugoslavia.

I meet again my Spanish colleagues waiting to board the plane. We talk about our job. They are nervous because they don’t know the language and they’ll need a translator. I realise they know little about the country and the situation and less about the political parties and their leaders. I wonder how they would manage once there.

We board the plane. I’m surprised to see it’s almost empty. So the story about not enough seats for all the passengers that they told me when they sent me to the waiting list was a lie. My suspicions that I had difficulties because of my name arise again. But the important thing is that I’m on board.

During the flight they show us a propagandistic video about the wonders of Yugoslavia. Nothing about the crisis or the situations that are making news. The State is in a brink of a collapse. In the video all is idilic and wonderful.

I spend most of the time looking through the window. It’s my first trip to my homeland. I want to catch a first glimpse from the air. But it’s not my lucky day. It’s raining. I only can see grey clouds covering the landscape.

We land in Zagreb Airport. The border police officer take his time with my passport and begins to make questions about who am I, what am I going to do during my visit to the city, where will I stay, and so on. The other passengers pass quickly while I still answering questions. Finally, the officer seems satisfied and let me pass.

I go to pick up my bag. When I arrive all the luggages are already on the conveyor belt. I notice that my suitcase is not there.

Tom and Marko, my cousins, are waiting for me at the other side of a crystal wall. They are waving at me excited. We have recognised each other by photos. I’m trying to tell them by signs that I can’t go out because my luggage is lost. Tears fills my eyes. Not precisely because my lost bag. I’m deeply moved to meet my family for the first time. And now they are so close and still I can’t embrace them and speak with them because of that damn bag.

I go to reclaim my lost bag and after a lot of questions they tell me that it has gone to Belgrade with the plane.

Did they sent my bag intentionally to Belgrade? Did I lost something vital to my work in the process? How was my meeting with my family? Could I overcome the emotions and do my job?

 

Writing 101, Day Thirteen: Serial Killer II.

 

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Time to read

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You’re at the airport, your flight is delayed for six more hours, and none of your electronic devices is working. How do you pass the time?

Easy:  I would take a walk to see what they have in the shops and stretch my legs. I’m always interested to see what’s in fashion. But since I don’t want to spend my money in things I don’t need I only would enter in the bookstore to choose and buy a good book and two or three newspapers and magazines. Then I would go to a bar to have a lunch and I would spend the rest of the time reading my new book.

Terminal Time.