I have been fortunate enough in my life so far to have had a fair number of reasons to travel – whether to South Africa or overseas. Each trip to the very far away lands is always marked by the same beginnings and ends. Airports. I like them, I really do. The thing about airports, is that I find them to be so magical, so interesting on so many levels, that it is always such a butterfly-inducing experience to get to go to one – whether it is me getting to go somewhere, or getting to pick up or drop off someone else who has that privilege.
It fascinates me how they are all fundamentally the same. No matter whether you are boarding a flight in Cambodia or South Africa, any airport is basically the same environment. The same rules apply to get on your flight, the same sort of duty free sections will exist (though they may vary wildly in size and price) and travellers follow the same routes in and out in the course of their travels. Added to this is the fact that just outside any airport is a strange and foreign land – a country which may vary wildly in its people, its cultures and every tiny detail required to live and operate in it.
Because of that, I guess they become sort of a virtual ‘wrapping paper’ around the delicious experiences that travel always provides. So even when you are ont travelling yourself, the memories and excitement always come bubbling to the surface when I find myself in the bright lights and chrome-and-tiles surroundings.
On a related note – The OR Tambo International B terminal (International flights to Africa, I think) has now opened – even more wrapping to wander through and spend idle moments in. When the government pulls of making something new and pretty and exciting like this, I could almost forget what selfish fools many of them can be sometimes. It is nice to be reminded on occasion that our best really is on a par with the best in the world, and how many people want to come and see our country, even as we may grumble at times.