(previous Blogger post, September 15, 2006, Friday)

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport. General opinion makes out that we live in a world of hatred and greed. I don’t see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy but it’s always there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge, they were all messages of love. lf you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.
– from the movie ‘Love Actually’

Aah, one of my favorite, favorite movies. That opening scene at the airport, with the voice of Hugh Grant saying the lines above, got me right away. This movie begins and ends at the airport. I just love airports. There’s a saying that the journey is as important as the destination. When traveling, airports play a crucial role in defining what kind of journey we have. It’s not so much the structure, but what takes place inside an airport. More importantly, what takes place among the people. Big or small, modern or Fokker-age, all airports are the same to me in the sense that the human behaviors and emotions present are universal.

I like getting to the airport early for departures, and I hate rushing out during arrivals. I love to take lots of time to explore and observe everything. Airports are melting pots and crossroads. Just look at the myriad of expressions and emotions of the people. It’s fascinating to look at their faces and body language. It’s getting a glimpse of lives and personalities without being intrusive. There’s the wide-eyed first-time traveler, the rowdy family or group of friends on vacation, the chic traveler, the backpackers, the weary businesspeople, the tearful immigrants, and even the occasional kids traveling alone. People somewhat let their emotional guards down at airports. Maybe it has something to do with an airport’s aura of anonymity and transience.

There is also romance to the structure. Not necessarily to the materials or the design, but to the feelings and thoughts it evokes. There’s the exhilaration of going to strange, new lands or the anticipation of coming home, or the glamorous jet-setter feeling. Superficial or exaggerated these feelings may be, they still exist.

Then there are the people outside the terminals. The ones sadly left behind, and the ones eagerly waiting for the new arrival. We seldom see people parting in anger or meeting each other with indifference. An airport is one of the few places in the world where hatred is rare. Love is all around indeed.

The words above are just ramblings, so I’m not so sure about its coherence. The point is airports are great, I love traveling and coming home, and love can be found anywhere.