Sydney Airport

(This entry was written in Sydney Airport at the beginning of a 30-hour journey, and has not been proofread since. Any errors you find are your fault, for being too pedantic.)

Being in a airport for any length of time is a good way to evoke that peculiar state of mind usually reserved for people watching acid-inspired Flash cartoons on MTV in the middle of the night. It’s that sense of timelessness, when you can’t tell whether it’s eight in the morning or twelve at night. In fact it’s neither of these; it never is. Nevermind what time it is outside, it’s always 4am in an airport. Always. They try to hide this uncomfortale fact. Clocks still move, and flight "times" are written in the familiar style, but it’s all just a facade to imply the genuine passing of time. It’s a temporal veneer (readers who are playing the Antiques Roadshow drinking game should take a drink at this point), with the twin aims of easing us temporal beings into the uncomfortable timeless world and of avoiding the difficult problem of honestly writing all check-in, boarding and departure times as 4am which would leave you with no idea of whether you have enough "time" left for another "coffee". Since very little thermodynamics research is persued in airports it’s still unclear what happens to entropy in this timeless environment. My guess, based on personal anecdotal evidence, is that it’s pretty much already at a maximum.

"Jesus Titty-Fucking Christ, you’re on your knees in a airport departure lounge, pressing your forehead against the carpet in worship of an ignorant bald man in a dirty brown bed-sheet." This is not what I said to the delighted-looking people swarming around the collection of monks that surrounded me a few minutes ago. Instead I excitedly exclaimed, to quote Final Fantasy VII, "…!" Then I left to try to find an unlocked car to steal so I could run them all over and get a giant multiplier bonus to the sweet sound of "Gurranga". Or maybe not. Maybe I just sidled away to a monk-free section of the airport, and pondered how much spiritual fulfillment those carpet-kissers were expecting to find in the bizzarre cathedral of soullessness that is Sydney Airport’s international departure terminal. I concluded that Nirvana is probably not waiting for the devout in this flourescent franchise nest. Not unless cosmic one-ness is a fan of Starbucks and Subway. Although, having said that, an argument could be made that the relentless spread of Starbucks is likely to eventually result in galactic unity. Probably by the time I get home.

I’ll leave my disjointed ponderings at this point, because it seems that the announcement about the 18:00 flight from Sydney to London Heathrow via Hong Kong being delayed until tomorrow at 12:00 was referring to the other 18:00 flight from Sydney to London Heathrow via Hong Kong. Which is good. It means you won’t have to read another 18 hours’ worth of vacuity. Well done.