Tuesday, March 20, 2012|| --

Haneda, February 23rd

Changi, February 24th

"Arrival area is the airport's emotional climax. There is no one, however lonely or isolated, however pessimistic about human race, however preoccupied with the payroll, who does not in the end expect that someone significant will come to say hello at arrivals. 

Even if our loved ones have assured us that they will be busy at work, even if they told us they hated us for going travelling in the first place, even if they left us last June, it is impossible not to experience a shiver of sense that they may have come along anyway, just to surprise us and make us feel special.

So what dignity must we posses not to show any hesitation when it becomes clear, in the course of a twelve-second scan of the arrival area, that we are indeed alone with nowhere to head to other than a long queue at the ticket machine for the train express. 

Perhaps this was a way of practicing for mortality. Some day, one person would say goodbye to his father before going on routine trip, and the reprieve would abruptly run out. There would be a telephone call in the middle of the day, bringing the news that the parent had suffered a catastrophic seizure on the other side of the world and that there was nothing more the doctors could do for him - and from that day forward, the line in the arrivals would always be missing one face in particular." 

―Paragraphs taken from A Week at the Airport by Alain de Botton

Selamat jalan, Bapak. Selamat beristirahat.

11:01 PM |