Anyway, I digress, today I was back on the railway, again. Joy of joys. Dressed up like the tango man's sister, trogging along scummy sections of track hoping that I would be able to fix the problem quickly and go home. Thankfully I did, and the guys at EasyJet even managed to get me on an earlier flight home (I had booked the very last one in case the job had gone tits up, and yes, that is a technical term).
On a side note - I went to Burger King. I had an XL Bacon Double Cheeseburger and dear lord did it taste good. It was filth and floorshavings but it tasted fantastic after being stood trackside for ages. I normally avoid junk food of this ilk like the plague- it's bad for you and really doesn't taste that great in reality. I did suffer afterwards - I always end up imagining I can feel my arteries contracting and the fat cells starting to form and clump together on my stomach. Melodramatic I know, but it also wasn't helped by the fact that I also had cake. Yes, today I was very, very bad.
Phil very kindly picked me up from the airport and took me home. I'm glad he did because airports aren't good places to stay.
I have sort of developed a knack for dealing with airports - lord knows I spend enough time either working in them or travelling through them!
My reasoning on airports is: when travelling through the terminals, and indeed whilst on the planes themselves, there is no reason to let yourself get stressed (except pehaps because of the airport arseholes, and even they needn't be a cause of stress if you take the right viewpoint*.)
My tips on avoiding airport stress (and note that it is all about the art of queueing):
- when travelling alone try to be at the end of the queue. Yes, I said the end. The back. The rear. Call it what you will, you just don't want to be at the front - that is where the airport arseholes tend to congregate (see footnote).
- the only important queue is the one at check-in (and possibly the ones in the shops and cafes, but that's obvious). Don't be late for this queue as being late may mean you miss the flight, and even if you just scrape in, you will be stressed - being late and having to rush is stressful!
- don't panic and rush through security in a flurry - for one thing, some airports have virtually no facilities once you are through security (I'm thinking here of domestic departures at Glasgow International for example), and for another - getting through security is much less traumatic if you are relaxed and organised. Make sure you have sorted youself out (empty pockets, laptops out of bags, jackets and shoes off if necessary etc) and remember the security staff are there to help you!
- RELAX!!! Once you have checked in there is absolutely no reason to rush around like a headless chicken - it will always be easier for the airline staff to get you onto the plane than to get your bag off again. Hence, no need to rush. Plus, by not rushing you have a much better chance of being at the back of the boarding queue.
- when you are travelling alone it is always better to be at the back of the boarding queue (see point 1) - if you have an allocated seat number it doesn't matter how many people board in front of you as you will be sat in the same place no matter what. If you don't have an allocated seat number (as with most budget airlines) you are better off at the back of the queue as you will get to pick the best seat - if you are at the front of the queue and pick what you think will be a good seat, you have a whole row to yourself, you can virtually guarantee that you'll either get the fat bloke with the serious B.O. problem or the screaming brat sat next to you. By being the last person to pick a seat you can choose to avoid such irritations. Simple.
- ipods are you friend. They can block out a surprising amount of noise, including snoring, squelchy chewing noises, children crying (to a degree- don't expect miracles with this one).
- if you do still find yourself feeling stressed at the airport for one reason or another, just think yourself lucky - you're only passing through!
*I will concede only two genuine causes of stress at airports - badly behaved children (and their parents), and arseholes.
My definition of an airport arsehole is one of those people who just have to be at the front of every queue and won't consider that there actually are other people alive and breathing who are in fact also entitled to a little standing room. I pity these people in a way because they are just making the whole sorry process unnecessarily painful for themselves! I still laugh when they trip over though...