I’m a pas­sen­ger, please get me out of here

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

WHEN we re­designed T&I’s con­tents page last week, it was a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion among the team to fea­ture Open Book, our new lit­tle item de­signed to cel­e­brate the world’s great travel books.

Each week we’ll bring you a taster of one of our favourite ti­tles, many of which, I sus­pect, will be vin­tage reads or ‘‘re­cent clas­sics’’ as a book­seller friend calls them. I guess Dou­glas Adams’s The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul fits that lat­ter cat­e­gory — he wrote it more than 20 years ago, but it’s time­less in its wry hu­mour and acer­bic observations, es­pe­cially, as you will see be­low, about air­ports.

We have come to ex­pect swirly car­pets and ghastly tubu­lar fur­ni­ture in nerve-jan­gling colours plus what I call ‘‘hostage’’ cof­fees that cost triple what you’d pay in the real world. Some in­ter­na­tional air­ports spe­cialise in de­grees of pe­cu­liar dread­ful­ness such as Las Ve­gas, which has thou­sands of slot ma­chines, and Nairobi, with its low lighting and un­fath­omable queues.

Sin­ga­pore’s Changi al­ways tops polls of best air­ports and some­how your bags will be glid­ing mer­rily on the carousel when you get there (how do they do it?).

And a cheer­ing thing if you use Sydney in­ter­na­tional air­port is that 2300 park­ing spa­ces have been added and ‘‘meeter-greeters and farewellers’’ can park for up to three hours for $20 un­til Novem­ber 30 and get two (hope­fully drink­able) cof­fees, a $10 duty-free shop­ping voucher and a copy of (our sis­ter news­pa­per) The Daily Tele­graph. Sounds like it should take off.

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