Friday, March 21, 2014

Civil protest at 7am

Airport hiker do not really intend to break the law. They are law-abiding citizens, which clearly separates them from their brethren in mind, the terrorists. But in a zone where the number of laws per square meter reaches one million (rough guess), it is sometimes not easy to follow the law. The airport hiker constantly operates in a grey zone, one step away from being stopped by the police, another step from being thrown in jail. But often it is hard to notice these things. The law is invisible.

The new Travelodge at the airport in Glasgow is really just outside the terminal, not more than fivehundred meters away. Distance is not the issue here. The issue is the motorway that runs between the terminal and the hotel. A convenient tunnel leads from one side to the other, but the walkways end on the terminal side of the tunnel. But does it matter? There is muddy grass next to the road, I'm quite competent in crossing roads without getting killed, it is dark and rainy, so what. Five minutes of precarious balancing around puddles later I've arrived. The Travelodge is slightly difficult to access, so I thought. In my mind, I was Scott and the hotel the south pole.

It's only on the next morning when my problem became obvious. When trying to reverse my route, back to civilisation, a gigantic sign blocks my way, only readable from the hotel side. "According to bylaws", does it say, and "strictly no pedestrian access". But why, this is my go to response to everything right now, but why, the airport is right there. Just hundred meters from the sign is the tunnel, hundred meters further the walkway. But why?

It is one of these cases where it is hard not to break the law. The alternative is going back to the hotel and calling a taxi. But here the ridicule is too much. I cannot possibly accept this sign. And the other one just a few meters away which says the same things in an even harsher tone. Scott didn't have to deal with signs. I don't have to take this, is the murmur in my mind, something I rarely say to myself, and for two or three precious minutes I turn into an outlaw. I feel dirty. The roads are peaceful, the tunnel quiet. I cross the road that feeds the motorway and step onto the walkway that leads straight to the terminal. I'm back in my country.