Here I am, another night in Paris. Kind of. Paris Airport at least.
You see, because I can be a stingy traveler (ahem, budget conscious!) I prefer to take the cheap, though often poorly scheduled, flights rather than the more expensive direct flights. So upon returning to Istanbul from Morocco, I flew up to Paris and than will fly down to Istanbul (well, via Munich). But it so happens that my flight up from Morocco left at 7:00 pm on the 14th (arriving in Charles De Gaul Airport around 11:30 pm), and my flight down to Istanbul left at 6:00 am on the 15th. Not enough time between flights to bother with a hotel or a trip into the city proper (an hour each way on a Nine Euro ticket), but plenty of time to leave me twiddling my thumbs at the airport.
This is the first time I’ve been in overnight flight limbo at the airport. My other late flight/early flight experience ended quite badly, and I was full of nervous tension on the flight over. Would it be like last time, in Rome, when I found out some airports CLOSE at night, and you’d best find yourself somewhere else to go? Or would I be able to sneak into some corner somewhere, unnoticed, to wait out the night. I compromised on worst cases- its not that cold out and I have a good coat. If they throw me out will I take the train somewhere, or will I just sit outside until they open the doors again? I had settled on “sitting outside” as my worst case scenario for the night.
But, yet again, I’ve really been pleasantly surprised. I arrived in Terminal 2 to a warm and well lit hall. After passing passport control I headed towards Terminal 1, where my flight departed from in the morning. Walking slowly I passed periodically stationed bathrooms, water fountains (I promptly filled up my water bottle), vending machines, and ATMs. You know, I thought, if you have to be homeless somewhere, an airport is a great place to do it. Sure, you’re stuck behind security lines like a rat in a cage, but also like a rat you’ve got plenty of food, water, and dry straw. All you have to do is hit the feeder button and out shoots a prettily packaged snack.
Arriving in Terminal 1, I wandered past a particular set of well cushioned benches which I decided to call Home for the night. Pulling two together, I took off my shoes, unpacked my computer, and began to write.
Somehow, being in this airport well past the time most customers have left, has put me in the Christmas spirit. Something about tiptoeing quietly around, awake when you shouldn’t be, in a special place- well shucks I feel like a kid on the night before Christmas. Or maybe its just that there is less than a week to my adventure left, and then I’ll return home in the thick of the Holiday Season. Warm and snug in my leather chair, it makes me laugh, now, to think about how nervous I was a few short hours ago, rationalizing a camp out beside the doors.
Well, at least in this quiet it gave me time to think up the introduction to my “Around the World in 80 Days” book concept. Let me know what you think, and if you want to hear more…HELP ME FIND A PUBLISHER!!!
Around the World, an Introduction
I’m going to travel the world in 80 days. No, my name is not Philleas Fogg, and I don’t have a loyal but bumbling French servant. I’m not undertaking this journey to protect my honor or my fortune. Philleas traveled the world to show off the speed and reliability of modern transportation- chiefly using railways and steamer ships. I’ll be traveling to show how wonderful it can be to travel slowly, and enjoy the journey and the details.
Transportation has advanced quite a bit since then, and one can now circumnavigate the globe in under 80 hours. You can get to the MOON and back in under 80 days, for goodness sake. But despite the modern speed and connectivity of technology, we know as little about people in the rest of the world ads we did in Philleas’s time. Now, travelers think a place isn’t worth visiting unless Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Channel have preceded them. Beaches are only as good as the all inclusive resort packages they offer- complete with airport to hotel, air-conditioned shuttles; ensuring the traveler needn’t set one foot in a strange land or breathe one refreshing breath of unfamiliar scents.
But I digress. I’ll be traveling around the world, to show how today’s technologies really can connect us. To show how much of the world there is to see, and explore; how many people there are to meet. And I’ll be following Philleas’s footsteps, because I agree a leisurely 80 days is a respectable amount of time to circumnavigate the globe (after all, the publishers would never go for “but it will take a lifetime to complete!”). I hope you’ll join me on my trip, and share in the excitement of my adventures. I hope you’ll be emboldened by my stories, and inspired to go on adventures of your own.
Well, what do you think? Want to hear more? I do! I can’t wait to write it! I just need to track down some of those handy publishers, with their cash advances and professional editors…