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