Tuesday, February 5, 2013

T-minus 5 days till race day, and counting: Waiting for Godot at the airport...and why I'm not stressing about running this week

This post, strictly speaking, is not about running. It's about sitting around in airports and airplanes while a winter storm has railed and raged in Nova Scotia, while I have been trying to get home from a work trip. I said it last week, didn't I: life has a funny way of getting in the way.

In any case, I realized this morning that all this sitting around in airports could have been a great opportunity for me to do a study on the inner workings of airport waiting lounges...Only I've been too dazed and confused to realize this until now, only 30 minutes from boarding time.

I have, however, noticed a few things since Sunday about the in-between world of airport departure/arrivals lounges:

- hardly anyone ever, ever runs for planes - even though I can remember reading about this countless times or seeing it in movies;
- there are a lot of things for sale in airports that you don't really need: Guess bags, jewelry, perfume, Canada paraphenelia. It's a plot to keep us distracted by tapping in to our inner consumer;
- there are a lot of patient, underpaid staff who spend hours cleaning up after our messes. They all wear blue or white plastic gloves;
- while most bathrooms have those paper seat disposal thingies, they are almost always empty;
- despite the fact that people hardly ever run for the plane, there seem to be a lot of people late for their flights, if we're to go by the number of announcements on the PA system. Perhaps those folks should start running for their flights?
- most Canadian airport staff greet you with the "hello/bonjour" greeting, but usually they are not bilingual and the "bonjour" sounds distinctly like an anglophone saying "bonjour";
- Tim Horton always has the longest lineups of any food selling place;
- unless you are at your gate, it is actually quite difficult to hear any announcements being made over the PA system in Toronto (Ottawa seems to be better). So make sure you are near your departure gate if you want to know what's going on;
- the Ottawa airport has staff who are able to make announcements in Inuktitut (or at least that's what I took it to be) for flights departing to Nunavut;
- in the winter, there are a lot of flight cancellations.

Looking forward to getting back home and into the regular routine of things!


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