Saturday, June 27, 2009

Airports

Walking down terminal A in Philadelphia Airport, I said to myself, “this is all too familiar.” Somehow, it seemed as if I had been down that hallway before. Of course I have! I’ve been down it several times. I know exactly where the bathrooms are. I know the place to get a sweet slice of pizza. I know the magazine shop around the corner from the departure gates. I know where the wall outlets are to plug in a computer. I can tell you where to find more comfortable chairs. I know that if you go to the left, the afternoon the sun warms up the hallway and there is minimal internet connection. To the right, if you walk a ways, you can get to another terminal with a GAP store, and Chick-Fil-A, and enough other shops that can actually make you forget that you are even in an airport!

Needless to say, airports, no matter how familiar, there is one thing that constantly changes. The people going through the airport. From the business class to the economy level, pilots and security personnel, so many different races, backgrounds and religions pass through those hallways. Everyone coming from somewhere different. Everyone going somewhere for some reason. Some frustrated, some excited, some rejoicing, some mourning. Some hungry for more than just food. Others so full of themselves, they don’t notice anyone else around them.

Here in the London airport, the scene is much the same. And yet even more multi-cultural than Philadelphia. There is a Sikh man (Indian man, wearing a turban) at the airport security desk. A Muslim woman perhaps from United Arab Emirates checks my passport. A British girl takes my order at the café. A Chinese looking man speaks English with a British accent, and my mind tries to decide what country to place him in, but fails because it doesn’t have a category for British-English-speaking-Chinese-ethnicity-background individual. The café I’m sitting at right now is advertising a Philly cheese steak and a bottle of Coke to celebrate the 4th of July – an interesting thought, being as the 4th of July is an American holiday celebrating Independence from the British! (see picture!)

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