Departure

It’s 9:04 on Monday morning, and I’m sitting in the departure hall of Terminal 2 at London’s Heathrow Airport. I’ve chosen to sit right in the middle of the departure hall, because bizarrely it’s the quietest place. On one side the seating area is surrounded by endless shops that very few people seem to set foot in, and on the other sides, gates to waiting aircraft, accompanied by gaggles of highly strung, stressed travellers.

I’m stressed too – but not about the flight – more about the work to achieve over the next few days. Flying has become strangely routine for me now, having done this trip so many times in recent months. I was just talking to a neighbour a few days ago about the “magic” of travel, and how it dissipates pretty damn quickly when you do it for work. When I tell people I’m off to visit Frankfurt once again, they talk of museums, and cafes, and boat trips along the river. I will see none of that. I will see my hotel room, a supermarket, a restaurant or two, and a conference room. I’ll see a lot of the conference room.

I have about half an hour until the gate is called for the Frankfurt flight. Half an hour to watch people milling around, buying over-priced coffee, and deliberating over where to sit, having been asked to arrive at the airport two hours early, and finding they got through security in fifteen minutes.

I will admit to becoming “good” at security checks. By the time I arrive at the scanner I’ve usually dispensed with my belt, my watch, my keys, any coins, and emptied my bag of all electronics. One time coming home a security lady at Frankfurt cheered when I walked straight through with no alarms – and quietly confided that she wished there were more passengers like me.

I suppose I should post this, and get on with some people watching. No doubt I’ll have more adventures to impart a little later.

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