The Airport Shuffle

By | February 10, 2005

I always find it slightly unnerving when people consider an airport a destination in itself. Waiting to check in for my ‘retimed’ flight at Singapore’s Changi Airport, i am engulfed by hordes of locals shuffling around the shops near check-in, wandering aimlessly and most of them apparently with no intention of meeting people, or checking in themselves (unless they arrived really, really early and travel very, very light.) So what gives?

Well, of course it’s the second day of Chinese New Year and everything in town is shut. This is the only place to buy stuff, get a decent bowl of noodles and escape the extended family for a few hours. These long holidays can be wearing. At least, that’s what I guess is going on; I haven’t asked anyone.

I could be horribly wrong, but I do worry when society makes malls our primary place of recreation and, as a backup, airport concourses. Sure, we want to get away from the heat/cold/rain sometimes, but is this all there is? Wandering around the skeleton-staffed airport shops buying stuff we know we could get cheaper in town tomorrow?

3 thoughts on “The Airport Shuffle

  1. Indi

    True, Pak Jeremy!

    We have also seen uniformed students studying at fast food joints at airports or shopping malls after school hours and often times they stay way past dinner time. Are the schools really wealthy that they have regular overseas field trips?

    Are the nice public housing or the luxurious condos really not considered comfortable “homes” that students prefer to choose a fast food joint in malls as a place to study? Or is this really what metropolitan life is all about? (where people are supposed to meet in neutral places because they have no real “homes” they can be proud of)

    Sad… sad really.

  2. wicak

    haha Jeremy, how do you know they are local ? Knowing that this is Mall Island, most likely they are Jakartans on their way back to Jakarta after the CNY. And we all know that my bretheren love to shop.
    It doesnt matter if its cheaper tomorrow as long as it was bought in another country.

    If they were locals, then they are doing the national past-time: “look-see look-see, no-buy”.

    To comment on Indi’s comments, at least they are studying and not drinking, drugging, sexing or beating up foreigners. In other countries, those are what a majority of school kids do…


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