The inside of an airport is a strange place. Some people find it exhausting, others exciting, and some just as an inconvenience. I feel at home in airports, to be honest - each airport slightly different but fundamentally the same.
The floors all bear the same dull coloured tiles/lino, the walls usually painted in white or the inevitable magnolia, and rows upon rows of dark coloured seats, all separated with metal armrests nowadays to prevent people enjoying a snooze. (Note: the resident homeless guy in Dublin airport still manages to circumvent the armrests by contorting himself into the required shape - I know this, because I have seen it.)
I think that staff at airports naturally look on passengers as a sort of sub-species. Passengers are generally stupider than staff, and are generally an annoyance - a necessary nuisance. This means, that whenever I myself am am passenger, it is a very confusing time. I know that I am looked down upon by many of the staff, who are perfectly polite and smile at me, just another generic Human Being. I feel this overwhelming urge to tug on their sleeve and say 'it's ok! I'm not one od them! I understand' - but then I would look a bit silly.
So I sit, in the midst of the Self Loading Freight, and watch them. i watch their expressions, their behaviours and their reactions. They really are as strange as they appear to me when I am in uniform - yet I look no different and, I presume, have my own strange and unusual mannerisms. Like sitting on a dark coloured seat enthusiastically writing a blog about airports.
It's remarkable what a unform does for someone. When paxing in uniform, the crew smile, treat you a little like a long lost friend (well, wouldn't you give a long lost friend a bottle of crew water?) and then you pax as a civilian and you smile enthusiastically at the very same crew member - who looks back at you blankly, very much as though you have two heads.
Then (as Flanders and Swann would say), a voice comes through on the loudspeaker... "flightXXX will shortly be boarding, everyone please remain seated and familiarise yourself with your seat numbers..." and everybody jumps up at once and stands in a long disorganised line, ready to board the aircraft. However many times a person flies on an airplane, they still seem to think that if they don't stand and queue, they won't get to their destination - even when they all have assigned seats - and they all glare at me strangely when they see me still sitting down.
On that note, I have bored of writing this blog entry, and the queue has diminished sufficiently for me to board my aircraft. In uniform. Because - then they will smile at me like a long lost friend, and give me crew water.