An airport is such a fascinating conglomeration of human genius!
Without understanding how things work, how they work inter-connected, how interconnections multiply and serve different purposes; without setting up standardized agreements on the global scale (how to measure time, distances, values …), without the discipline to follow these agreements, there would be no airports.
Airplanes are merely carriers of people and goods, they are as much as an envelope is for the letter. What you want is to get the letter from point A to point B, and that requires an envelope, a stamp, mailboxes, post-offices, postmen, etc.
For you to get from point A to point B by air, it takes an airplane, a ticket, some gates, terminals, shuttles, fuel, luggage services, pilots, navigation systems, runaways, etc.
So here we are now: only 112 years after brothers Wright flied for the first time in human history on wings, there are 93,000 flights every day transporting more than 8 million people and 140,000 tonnes of stuff.
Only a few decades have passed from figuring out how to shape the wings appropriately to using airplanes in warfare and a couple of decades more to using airplanes for public transportation.
There is so much cutting edge technology in a single airplane, connecting with more fascinating technologies at the airport. Taking off and landing seems so effortless with all the modern technology. The precision of airplanes taking off and landing one by one in a long queue is staggering.
It’s no different in the airport building itself. The largest airports are some of the busiest places on earth, employing tens of thousands of people to serve the endless streams of travelers.
Aeronautic science has affected so many aspects of our lives. The need for aerodynamics and for packing constituents as compact as possible brought about smooth design. Now we can find similar designs in practically every industry.
Just look around right now and you’ll see it on your mobile phone, computer screen, furniture, tables, newspapers, machines, tools, cars …
The ultimate influence of air transport is that it made us over-emphasize the quality of packaging and neglect the contents.
So now we have clueless consumers flying around in hi-tech machines staring at 50 programs on mini-screens.
It used to be that people with a calling would put on their gear and travel until their legs couldn’t carry them anymore — that was a lot of content in a plain envelope.
Now you watch movies about such traveling — in sequels — until your bum can’t carry you anymore.
That’s why travelers with genuine calling and rich soul don’t fancy commercial flights: too much of an envelope! An envelope of that size will certainly suffocate a free spirit.
Whenever I walk through an airport I think to myself: “Haven’t they taken it too far?”
I feel like a tweet, written on a toilet paper, in a truck-size envelope — alone.
I’m a novel!
I like traveling envelope-free …
I want everyone I meet to be able to read me. I want to be able to read them.
Travelling shouldn’t be just seeing points A, B, and C. It should be seeing all that comes between these points.
Air travel robs us of that as convenient as it might seem.
I’ll fly when necessary, yes. For practical purposes. To nourish my soul I’ll rather travel on foot to places close to my home and heart. I’ll connect with people on the ground, not with people in the clouds.
What about you? Are you a novel or a tweet?