Monthly Archives: June 2010

Six people you always see at airports but wish you didn’t

The Luggage Lunatic

In an age where seat pitch and width are shrinking, carry-on rules are getting stricter and free check-ins are quickly disappearing, you still see the luggage lunatics the second you roll up to the curb. Unless you’re moving to Ouagadougou for good, there is no reason to pack like this. Ever. You’re not Imelda Marcos. Let’s tone down the luggage.

The Octopus Parent

You know who I’m talking about. Poor man/woman carrying two kids in the dual configuration, holding hands with yet more kids of walking age – multiple wheelie suitcases and back-packs in tow; at least one kid crying at all times almost acting as a siren warning you to get out of the way. I have nothing against this group of people and the only reason they make this list is that I want them to get some relief.

The Muse

Lack of experience? Lack of knowledge? Lack of a clue. This species of traveller is fascinated and confused by everything. They usually stand around gawking at things – one hand scratching their head, while their heads bob up and down between airports signs and their travel documents. Hint: there are no directions to your gate on your boarding pass. Do not ever line up behind one of these people and follow at a distance, as they are known to perform Crazy Ivans at random.

The Voyageur Idiot Savant

I don’t know what it is about these people but they are everywhere. Usually they are men trying to impress their kids or the significant other with their wealth of aviation and travel knowledge. I recently overheard a guy telling his girlfriend/wife how revolutionary the 747 was “blah, blah, economies of scale, blah, blah hub to hub” and so on. When she asked which plane he was talking about he pointed and said that one over there! The real kicker was that he was pointing at an A320, which wasn’t even the biggest plane in sight.

The Turnstiles

I’m not sure who created these jobs or why they are still around but you see them at every airport; people whose entire role it is to direct travellers to various line-ups – be it customs, security or check-in. I’m baffled. Where does one even go to apply for such a job? Surely a well-placed sign would do the trick… then again the patent lack of logic and flailing hand gestures some of these folks exhibit is worth the price of admission. On second thoughts, let’s keep these people.

The Blackberry Ninjas

These lovely individuals spend every free second they have looking down at their mobile devices furiously thumbing away. Luckily half of this genus consists of business travellers so they at least know where they’re going and how to get there without obstructing other travellers. These folks look up occasionally and grunt when asked questions but beyond that are a waste of space. If you happen to be seated next to one on the plane there is a more than 50% chance that (s)he will still be hammering away during take-off.
The Editor

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Isle of Palms & the rest of South Carolina

The last stop on my News21 road-trip across South Carolina was in the Mt. Pleasant and Charleston area along the coast. I had to cross this beautiful bridge (I took a video of it on my phone but have yet to find out how to get it from my phone to YouTube) and was right at my hotel.

As soon as I got to the check-in counter I asked the lady how do I get to the water. She kindly took out a map and used a marker to plot my course, at the same time providing verbal directions. I threw my luggage on my bed and grabbed the camera equipment, thinking this would be another grand opportunity to shoot some B-Roll. I headed out and took the proper right turn and followed it all the way (across another bridge), noticing the sunset and water appearing right before my windshield.

I paid for parking and let my feet find the soft, smooth sand of the Carolina shoreline. The water of the North Atlantic ocean was warm and inviting. Fishing poles were cast from the pier into the water below. Families were relaxing and kids were playing soccer. Couples walked hand-in-hand along the waterline watching the sunset paint the sky with its shades of orange and purple. Daring teens jumped onto their skimboards in the water, only to fall mere seconds later.

Watching the sky grow darker, I picked up a collection of seashells that I knew would find themselves in the trash can later. For me, this was the best way to end one hectic trip across a state that I had never visited before. The people were truly hospitable and showed their Southern comfort at every moment, sadly not as much on the roads. I believe I have never seen as much green in my life than I did during this trip. I honestly lost count of how many times I pulled over to the side of the road to take pictures of the verde land or the cliche river bridges, and water in general. Despite the green pastures sprawling everywhere, it made me miss the dry-heat I have taken for granted growing up in the Valley of the Sun my entire life. Although I never did get to have a taste of the infamous Southern food, I sincerely felt like I left South Carolina with a satisfactory taste in my mind.

These were some of the photographs from my trip down South.

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Filed under South Carolina, Travel, United States