Town Mouse

Joy at the air­port

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

TO me, time spent in air­ports seems not merely wasted, but spoilt as well. As a trav­eller at Christ­mas in par­tic­u­lar, you just can’t es­cape the hassle of the crowds, the seem­ingly end­less queues, the noisy hub­bub, the cav­ernous shops and—as you ei­ther race against the clock or wish for idle min­utes to slide past more quickly—an op­pres­sive aware­ness of time. How­ever, if air­ports strike me un­equiv­o­cally as nec­es­sary evils of mod­ern life, I was re­minded of what ex­traor­di­nar­ily touch­ing places they can also be when I re­cently went to greet mem­bers of the fam­ily in an ar­rivals hall.

Amid the loitering ranks of taxi driv­ers was an ever-chang­ing crowd of peo­ple wait­ing for their friends and fam­ily. There were even a few ban­ners greet­ing those from, as I imag­ine, par­tic­u­larly long or dis­tant trav­els. Time and time again bored faces lit up with the joy of recog­ni­tion and re­union. Many of the meetings were com­i­cally in­ept, with one party en­tirely miss­ing the waves and calls of the other, some­times even while talk­ing on phones to­gether. But no­body cared. The greet­ing made, the re­united cou­ple or group would con­tent­edly walk away from the liv­ing night­mare of mod­ern air­port travel to­wards the hap­pi­ness it makes pos­si­ble. JG

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