Sunday, August 22, 2010

music for airports

just got off the phone with my brother who in addition to asking about our holiday asked about the flights. the flights, domestic: united airlines [757 jumbo jet], international: sas [airbus 340-300], were despite the lack of legroom fairly comfortable affairs. we flew to chicago on united and both flights to and from the city lasted between 4 to 5 hrs. the flights to sweden lasted 8 and close to 10 hrs. and both flights to chicago had a layover of close to 5 hrs while the layover in chicago for the journey home were 9 of the longest hrs we ever endured.

that's just it. chicago's o'hare airport is one of the busiest in the world. it is certainly one of the largest. it also has some of the most stringent security measures i've encountered. o'hare has some cool stuff, good public art, an efficient tram that takes passengers from one terminal to the next, and even a life-size brachiosaurus skeleton located at the united terminal. what o'hare doesn't have is a way for persons to stretch out and doze, hell even relax, during long waits for flights.

i've heard somewhere that airports are our symbols of our global village. it's amazing that you can hop on a plane and be anywhere in the world in less than 24 hrs. it sure beats travel even less than a hundred years ago when to get to say england from california would require several weeks passage on trains and a ship. so why am i complaining? because the seats and benches are so hard and narrow at all the airports i've known, not just o'hare, that any rest is damn near an illusion. airports are simply not comfortable places at all.

does it have to be that way? yeah, i know, there's the hilton located right inside o'hare, there's even some hotels and motels a short cab ride away. but the logistics and the expenses to book a room at the hilton or outside of the airport required are fairly substantial obstacles. did i mention the stringent security at o'hare? you don't want to go thru that more than twice.

would it be impossible to ask that designers of international airports like o'hare to build some micro-hotels? you can find these in japan, little honeycombs with beds where the traveler can bunk for a few hrs on the relatively cheap. resting in one of these certainly would've made the last leg of our journey more bearable. we were so exhausted that the last 2 hrs on the plane was an eternity. we moved beyond being tired into that realm where not only did our bodies ache but our souls were moaning too. we'd been up for 24 hrs at that point and i was looking down at the lights of lake tahoe as the pilot started our descent. a gorgeous view. i wasn't thinking of beauty. i was daydreaming, no more like hallucinating, big, big pillows, crisp sheets and blankets that reached the length of a football field. i was thinking oh sleep, where the fuck are you now. i kept repeating, there's no place like home, there's no place like home.


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