Sunday, 8 August 2010


Dazed. In the bowels of Heathrow's terminal 5 business class lounge, I took a strategic seat which allowed a panoramic view of a variety of passenger types. All of us were definitely en route and I again went on to while time in an airport by people-watching.

The 'road warriors' always fascinate me. With one hand on the laptop's keyboard and the other tapping away on the Blackberry, they're the quintessential business travellers who feel an entitlement to the place. They're not even looking at either screen while doing all that. Is this awesome display of ambidexterity due to some chase at stock markets opening and closing in some parts of the globe; that a second's miscue could mean quantum financial losses. Or is it just a trend that to divert from it will show a less competent individual. In all cases, they'd look dazed. I have not fallen for this cult (yet?) but the reminder of a laptop in my carry-on is tempting as well as securing one of those public workstations in the lounge if only to check on mails.

Then there's the 'hyperactive' who keeps on commuting from his seat to the food buffet or drinks counter unmindful of other passengers as he skips and hops around. He seems nervous about something -- missing his flight or meeting someone at the end of the flight?  Does he know that only an idiot misses a plane? While moving about, they disturb the relative peace of the lounge and waste the food which they do not even touch after all. More to the point, they're dazed.

The 'TV fan' has eyes eternally glued to the television whatever nonsensical show is going on. Perfectly dazed. Not a word to his nearby companion. Try changing channels and he wouldn't mind as he simply continues to stare.

There are raucous passengers who might have chanced on an acquaintance and are busy catching up with each other. Vocal sound decibels are above what one might expect in a resting spot like this lounge but what caught my attention was that nobody seemed to care about conversations bordering on the noisy. Animated faces of people exchanging news and views sharply contrast against stoic faces of quiet and oftentimes individual lonely travellers.

In airports, we are all caught in a space of time and of place. We are neither here nor there. This is what keeps passengers dazed. With the reality that it is a temporary state and so would be the next one (i.e., inside the aircraft), we might feel lost, anxious, imprisoned, irritated, sick, or oftentimes we don't know what it really is because we do not acknowledge it. Pity the constant traveller who flits from one tentative state to another -- be it airport or hotel. The trance never ends.


  1. Last week, I took my first plane ride in 15 years. I was scared shitless. I think I'm part of the TV population. Perhaps we stare to remind us that life goes on, with or without cabin pressure.

  2. See you at the gate sometime Nyl. Soon I hope.

  3. Not the pearly ones, I hope. I have a lot of living left to do. lol