Friday, April 30, 2010

Feels like YYZ

I'm watching “Up in the Air” on the return flight from Toronto. The protagonist apparently likes flying. In the seat next to me is a boy, maybe 10 years old; he stares out of the window and enjoys every single minute of a long-distance flight. Finally, at least two people, one fictional, one real, who actually have their minds where they are.

See, airports are like zombie land. Nobody really wants to be there, nobody actually is there. Either they are still with the people they have just left, in their minds. Or they are already with the business they are going to do the next day. In their minds. What matters is what's going on in the mind. Airports leave them as soulless corpses. Their souls are somewhere else. Empty shells populate the parking garages, the elevators, the gates, the security checks. Well, you know. Whoever manages to actually be at the airport, will experience the most lonely moments in his life, moments of precious, beautiful isolation. These moments are worth living for.

Fuck, that's nonsense. I've just spent one hour walking through an eight level parking garage without seeing anything worth living for (not counting rental cars). Terminal 1 at Pearson International in Toronto, the airport with the enigmatic shorthand name YYZ, does not seem particularly interesting, which bothers me because I really like Toronto. The top floor of the parking garage is walled and fenced, and there is no point from which you can get an overview. The bottom floor (note: top and bottom floor are the most essential floors in parking garages) only leads back to the road. This is going nowhere and I don't have much time left until boarding.

I give up. I give up and walk again through the zombies in the terminal. Lower level, arrivals. The mid level is meaningless. Upper level, departures. Here you can watch the airtrain. It seems glued to the parking garage and then takes off towards Terminal 3. For the time being, Toronto doesn't have a Terminal 2, which is confusing for the amateur. But wait. From the west end of the terminal you can actually see a path to the other terminal. It's right there, maybe ten, fifteen minutes away. I don't have fifteen minutes, but at least I've figured it out. I spent my last five minutes in Toronto with a fantastic sunset and a stone man. My shadow is longer than his. But he has more muscles.

Sunsets at airports are the best. So many moving lights. For your information, Terminal 1 has incredible express walkways, which make you walk with about 20 km/h. I usually ignore walkways, but this one is a definite proof that the future is here. A future Made in Germany, of course.

8 comments:

  1. I like this. And I don't think it's nonsense, that's exactly how I feel at the airport (and on a plane). Completely isolated, able to think without distraction, neither one place or another. Just in my own mind.

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