I am getting ready to head back east for a conference and a symposium. You do know the difference, right? At a conference you confer, at a symposium you collect opinions. Anyway you draw up the typical list – clothes (usually too many), toiletries (you usually forget toothpaste or a comb), camera (you usually forget to recharge the batteries), something to read (that you end up not reading but if you don’t bring something you end up reading airline magazines), miscellaneous stuff (work related) and an iPod (that is never a problem because it is important). Stuff whatever into the wheeled suitcase and put the expensive and important stuff in your carry-on. Your set for the next step.
The AIRPORT. Remember when you were a kid and someone mentioned airports. It was like Disneyland. When I was about 7 years old my Grandfather came to visit us from England. Everybody went out to the airport in their Sunday best. It was an important event. Now I consider airports par with root canals. Very, very painful. Last year in London we had a flight on August 10th from Heathrow. Instead of a few hours by plane it turned into a few days by boat and train. (which by the way cost about 500% more – now there’s a brand statement “Pay more and take longer”).
Now I wonder about how the airport situation will be. The wonderful check in event, the hurry-up-and-wait attitude, the seating space that is ample for anyone under 5 feet, the ample refreshment container (not enough liquid to get a Kleenex damp) and of course the food. Five airports. Five different ways to get a root canal. Maybe alcohol will help here.