Nowadays, travelling via an airport to anywhere is a pain in the arse. It’s basically a total waste of time (if you ignore the minor fact that getting to somewhere really, really far away by any other means of transport would take 3-4 weeks).
There are myriad reasons I have grown to hate airports. Firstly, I always fall into the trap of checking in my luggage and then saying to myself, “Hmmm… I’m thirsty. I’ll go and buy a nice, refreshing drink at that handy newsagents over there.” After paying £3.50 for a bottle of water, I breeze along to the next stage of the airport dance – the security check-in for your hand luggage. And what do I find? I’m not allowed to bring my water through with me. Fucking weasels. Why have a shop selling a fine selection of thirst-quenching beverages that are only of use if you are so thirsty you want to pour the entire thing down your gullet in world record time?
Also, airports are pretty pikey these days. I am not posh or anything like that (I am from Aberdeen, heroin capital of Europe) but I do turn my nose up at a loud 15-strong hen party dressed in matching neon pink footless tights and furry halos, (so as not to stray far from their herd) and dripping in tat from Claire’s Accessories on their way to Shagaluf. Then there’s the greasy, dog-breathed, boozed-up stag weekends off to “The ‘Dam” so Stevie can look after his meat and two (putrid) veg one last time. They’ll be striding around the terminal clutching a warm Guinness from the Irish bar while permanently wrapped in a giant St George’s flag and sporting a delectable pizza face. Sloppy Giuseppe, to be precise. You try to find a quiet space away from them so you can read, think, breathe, whatever in private but wherever you turn you see one of them. They’ll either be itching their balls, shouting down the phone to their mum or trying to get off with the airport cleaner (who miraculously becomes a “fit stewardess with massive knockers” when they are re-living the encounter with their friends later on).
My next airport hate is the hand luggage security check: shoe inspection, anal cavity search, and so on. Maybe it’s just me, but every time I’m at this stage I feel a wave of guilt resonating through me and start to get a cold sweat. Not because I am carrying a drug stash or planning a mid-air terrorist attack. I think it’s more the staff, who look like someone is permanently waving a 3-week-old pooey nappy under their nose, barking orders and making weird Michael Jackson dance move-like signals with their arms that make me nervous. I find my anxiousness and unnecessary guilt weird and annoying. Maybe I’ve just watched too many shitty TV movies where people are set up by a handsome, yet cunning man who has planted 25 bags of heroin in their trouser leg whilst pretending to have fallen deeply in lust with them.
Nearly there now. That is if you haven’t already spent every last euro on that essential Scrubs DVD box set and a yard of Toblerone from the ill-fated Duty Free shop of totally pointless crap you wouldn’t normally want (even if they were giving it away free).
After the flight, I’m starting to feel normal again. Except for the bit that often leaves me inwardly having a little sob: the baggage reclaim. I really do despise this because, without fail, I freak out that my stuff won’t show up, and that it’s all my own fault because I never got insurance and I should have tied a little bow on my case so I would know it’s mine, like Mother always tells me. To date, I’ve never lost my luggage so my fear is quite unnecessary. But, usually I’ll be with someone whose bag will pop out nice and early and there will be no sign of mine. The other person will stand there all smug and satisfied, like, “Oh, I wonder what’s happened to your bag.” Panic then sets in and I start to mentally plan out how I will survive my holiday on one outfit (a grey tracksuit) and where I can get a week’s worth of clothes on a budget of £20 and not end up looking like Sad Sack from The Raggy Dolls.
Forty-five minutes later me and the patient elderly couple make a reserved cheer to one another as our bags finally make their not-so-grand entrance onto the stuttering catwalk. By now I feel angry and emotional spent, and I want to go home and be by myself.