4AM In an airport waiting lounge

February 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?

Comments (3)

  • Robert

    February 3, 2007 at 11:24 am

    Hey glad you decided to make the trip. Damn that’s early though! Isn’t it only about an hour long flight to Dublin? In my experience Ireland doesn’t wake up till after 9 😉

    Anyway have a good time and say hi to the usual suspects for me. If you get a chance swing by that great Whiskey shop I went to:

    Celtic Whiskey Shop
    27-28 Dawson Street, Dublin 2

  • Brian Olewnick

    February 4, 2007 at 8:39 am

    I’ve found (and I think I’ve written about somewhere) airport waiting areas to be one of the most rewarding sound environments around. A large, somewhat echo-y space, multitude of various sound sources and, if lucky, numerous people in the immediate area who speak in a variety of tongues.

    Enjoy the trip!

  • Richard Pinnell

    February 4, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Just back, I’ll post about the trip soon, for now I’m exhausted and listening to that audition show I’ve heard so much about. I don’t usually get the chance as I always seem to be out when its on.

    Robert, I flew at six but you can never be sure with Gatwick airport so got there very early. Yes its just over an hour flight but with all the messing about with security and then the transfer to the city I got there in time for cafés to start opening.

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