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A Traveller’s Face

A Traveller’s Face

A face that says everything and still means nothing. That seems intentional, but is subconscious. That’s a traveller’s face.


What is meant by that?

Every airport has its rules. Most rules are similar across all airports around the world. However, this mainly applies to security conditions and certain travel restrictions or requirements.

But have you ever noticed that otherwise it feels like anarchy at the airport?

Of course, there are certain social rules of behavior, but they are very flexible and often exploited. Just like everywhere else.

Okay, what about it?

It’s no secret that people assess manners and customs differently. It may be of cultural nature or a question of upbringing, but it can also be influenced by early morning or late evening hours.

Sometimes alcohol is involved, or hormones go crazy. Who really knows for sure? After all, we are surrounded by strangers.
There is no right or wrong here, but it is a fact that everything works a little differently at the airport.

It’s the mix that makes it!

Here, you can find everything from slightly tipsy joggers to happy families and all kinds of businessmen. Party-goers sitting in a café with package tourists and business people, enjoying beer, water and latte macchiato.

It has something likable, almost unusually magical about it.

New people randomly meet, like-minded individuals unexpectedly come together, strangers become acquaintances and perhaps in the near future, even friends or family.

But only if the mood is right. Or as young people say: If the vibes are good.

But what if they’re not?

Many people at the airport look forward to their upcoming vacation, but just as many are exhausted, waiting for their onward or homeward journey.
They want to be back with their family or perhaps simply reach their next business destination.

You can surely imagine that the facial expressions of these people are quite different.

Excitement versus Exhaustion.
Anticipation versus Weariness.
Happiness versus Indifference.

That is without a doubt understandable and you will surely agree as you read this. However, if you encounter a bad mood, your own enthusiasm often quickly outweighs this understanding for others.

So, if you ever come across a frustrated look from someone at the airport, unless you happen to experience love at first sight, be understanding.

You never know what people have been through or what still lies ahead.

Instead, offer them a slight smile, nod at them, or simply don’t pay them much attention. Sounds hard, but does the trick.

In the rarest of cases, it’s meant to be malicious, so don’t always assume the worst. We humans tend to do that, but try to refrain from it every now and then. As they say: Live and let live.

How do I know?

I once sat at Vienna airport, alone, at about 10.30 PM.

Due to a customer workshop in Graz and flight prices way beyond a normal persons understanding, I decided to organize myself with a rental car starting and heading back to Vienna.
That’s about a 2 1/2 hours drive, but it’s alright, beautiful surroundings.

I headed back to Vienna at about 5 PM with a planned Departure at 8.45 PM, as far as I remember.

So why was I still there at 10.30 PM?

Well, of course, as if it wasn’t bad enough, there was a delay. Initially of 30 minutes, then about 1 hour, then 1 1/2 hours.
To be honest, I was already looking for an airport hotel, because if there is already a second shift in departure, there is often no departure at all.

So I sat there in the bar next to the beloved gate and ordered a beer, anything but enthusiastic. Just like the man at the table next to me.

“Isn’t that a wonderful way to spend Halloween?”, he said, smiling slightly.

Yes, it was a 31th of October and yes, that indeed made it even worse. My friends were out partying and then there was me, sitting here at 10 PM, cursing my job and my decisions.

“At least there is cold beer and not that much trouble.”, I answered with a slight laugh.

I can’t even remeber his name, but I do remember, that he was also here for business reasons, just like I was. We just sat there, smalltalking a bit, but mostly silent over our beers, sharing the same fate.

A bit dramatic, I know, but true.

Still, it was a nice conversation among like-minded people who did not know each other, both were initially annoyed by the situation, but still, a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.


And the punchline?

Try to make the best of a situation when you find yourself getting annoyed again. Sure, that’s easily said, but not easily made.

But you can’t control everything, so why even get upset about it?

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