Wednesday, February 18, 2009

on airports.

I just arrived back in Jville after about 3 weeks traveling for auditions. I am missing NYC (especially YOU, nyc friends!) in a big way, but am so happy to be back in my own house again and not living out of a suitcase. This morning was the best part—a great quiet time at my kitchen table with my carefully prepared café au lait in my favorite mug. I made a chocolate-caramel-sea salt tart for my parents last night, and have spent today teaching and “nesting” (cleaning, unpacking, resettling, etc.) It’s good to be back in my own space again. I plan to spend tonight reading and watching movies. Good stuff.

There are many things I feel I could share, but for some reason I want to tell you about the Detroit and Cincinnati airports. I don’t have much to say about the Detroit airport other than to say that there is a psychedelic tunnel there that reminds me very much of waiting in line for Space Mountain at Disney World. There was even music to go along with it. It was weird. Apparently, other people thought so too because there were videos of the tunnel on youtube. Here is one of them. I prefer the more clichéd tunnel at the Zurich airport, which my Swiss friend, Reto, says is the shame of his nation. Here is the romantic ending of the tunnel’s video.

The Cincinnati airport made more of an impression on me. First of all, it smells strongly of popcorn. There are worse smells, but at 8 am it wasn’t very appealing to me. The second thing I noticed is that there were airport info desks throughout the airport with signs indicating that all the info desks were staffed by volunteers from the community. While a very nice gesture, it struck me as being very, very odd. Who decides to go to the airport and volunteer to direct travelers to their gate and/or where to buy a magazine?  My mom suggested that perhaps those who couldn't afford to travel might like to at least go to the airport.  This suggestion is far beyond depressing to me.

Also, the Cincinnati airport features this statue, with a sign saying something about the "Spirit of Pigcinnati”. While I realize there is some significance to the flying pig in this fair city, it seems like a town that could summon enough volunteers to staff their airport info desks deserves a better monument in its airport.

My final comment on the Cincinnati airport is that the sinks in the bathroom have made it into my Top 5 Weirdest Public Sinks list (which I just now created). The sinks look normal enough—like any other sinks. I approached a sink and stuck my hands under the faucet. Nothing happened. I looked to see if I had to turn something on, but no. I did, however, see a small sign that instructed hopeful hand-washers to walk up to the sink in order to activate the sensor that turned on the water. The sign then went on to inform us that black clothing would not activate the sensor. Because I was wearing a black shirt and black coat, I had to bend down and swing my colorful scarf in front of the sink in order to turn on the water. Had I been wearing a black scarf also, apparently I would have been forced to leave with dirty hands.

I started to also write about traveling with my cello and maneuvering airports with her on my back, but that would make the post way too long and I would probably come across sounding like a bitter woman.  So I’ll save it for another time when the wounds aren’t so fresh.

The weather here is nice and I learned how to make that great chocolate-caramel-sea salt tart. Come visit.