People watching in the airport PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 June 2018 11:37

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

I have never been one for sports, either as a participant or a spectator. Although I tried to keep up with the leading names in golf , tennis, soccer or basketball it was just to keep up being informed. At one time in Cambodia a young friend told me he was surprised that a grandmother like me knew who were Ronaldo or Yao Ming or Tiger Woods as these names were mentioned in the news.

My interest however never went so far as to make me a “rabid” supporter of any one team. I was shocked a few days ago when I learned that one man stabbed another over their argument about NBA teams.

If I am engaged as a spectator it is in the activity of people watching. And one of the best places to do this is in an airport.

Waiting in the pre-departure area of an airport is one of the best places for people watching  where one can observe fashion or lack of it, patience of parents travelling with young kids, whether people use the occasion for conversation with each other or simply stare into space.

Some people dress very smartly for a plane trip and I can only guess that they really are natty dressers every day. Or they have to be at an appointment immediately from the airport of arrival. Others are dressed very casually, in shorts and “camisetas” and rubber thongs. I don’t mind seeing men board a plane in shorts but I draw the line with “sandos”.

Most parents travelling with young kids  usually get my admiration. Some don’t restrict  the kids  from moving around but usually restrain them from being too rambunctious. Other parents let the kids play as actively as though they were in a playground. There is nothing wrong with that as it is but adults normally are not in playgrounds as yayas or mamas are, and these adults can be driven to impatience with all the active squirming and crying and running around.

I like to read myself and I normally travel with a paperback or a magazine to while away the waiting at the airport. So my interest is usually piqued to take a look at what a person nearby is reading.

For   my return  trip this week after a few days in Cebu I found myself in a pre-departure   lounge that had about 200 people or so. I noticed that about 90% of the people there were focused on their cellphones, either texting or playing games or watching the screen for posts or whatever. Even small groups which seemed to be travelling together were not conversing but were focused instead on their cellphones.

In the age of communication we don’t seem to go for face-to-face communication anymore. And it isn’t something I am glad about.