4AM In an airport waiting loungeFebruary 2, 2007
The patron saint of restauranteurs is St Laurence of Rome.
Don’t ask me why, but that’s the kind of thing you learn at 4AM in an airport waiting lounge. That little gem of information came courtesy of a napkin that came free with my ‘Great British Breakfast’, which was a superb example of just why Britain isn’t so great anymore, and eaten at an American restaurant chain staffed by half of Poland.
This time of the morning the place is dead. The vast plastic expanse of seating areas and closed retail opporunities rests at this time, with just a few lonely bodies making their way across the concourse, quiet voices echoing across the space coupled with the click of heels and the pulsing whirr of suitcases on wheels following faithfully behind.
Above my head an escalator gently whines as it turns over, carrying nobody nowhere at this time, but giving the hall a continual comforting backdrop of sound punctuated occasionally by the clatter of crockery from a far off restaurant and the occasional explosion of activity as a door flies open and an airplane staff team purposely heads off to wherever they are going.
Closing my eyes and listening here, the hall is full of life, yet somehow its all surpressed, as if the building is catching its breath before a new chaotic day begins. The unmistakeable smell of burnt toast drifts across the concourse as the tannoy kicks in with a blast of static and a call for somone called Simon to return to the security desk at check-in station 3.
I always enjoy this time. The first day of seven away from work and about to fly to Dublin to take in a great city for a couple of days along with some good music in good company.
Now I wonder who the patron saint of duty free perfume counter assistants is?