Traveller’s Blues, take two. A mid-itinerary home-bound flight from Madrid is cancelled, and it’s Frankfurt airport — but with only a half-night to kill, and no time to do anything real, what’s up?.

People are flooding into an airport hotel in a forest  — huge queues, some of them consisting of other Air Canada refugees, while the others are predominantly Japanese flight crews. Individuals from the two groups endure check in, retreat to their respective rooms, only to re-emerge in the “lost in translation” lounge (it is actually named “Con.Nex.Ions,” something even Dickens — if somehow magically resurrected, then descended into post-postmodern hackdom and looking to name the bar in his latest novel — could not have dreamt up. A sign in English promotes the meeting facilities: “perfect for your important intercessions.” It’s an alluring prospect for Europe’s economic gurus and corporate titans at present). The new hotel guests have not begun to mix. At all.

The bar’s Saskatchewanites have freshened up. In matching fanny packs they fairly yelp in excitement as their bottle of the Lord’s Reisling arrives. (Air fucking Canada is paying, remember, up to 25 euros, and the night and its forbidden pleasures are young… unlike the folks from Saskatchewan.) The only items, beyond passports and cameras, to emerge from the fanny packs are eye drops and allergy medicine. Opportunities for important intercessions don’t happen every day, and the Saskatchewanites won’t be caught unprepared.

The prospect of divine eruption doesn’t phase the Japanese flight crew. But, changed into leisure-wear that is somehow more uniform-like than even their epaulet-laden pilot gear, the Osakan flyers are harder to please. They draw reading glasses and thin novels from velvet leisure-pockets. They pace between bar and dark corners, seeking best brooding zones and vantage points, sipping at tumblers of Calvados.

It’s cheerful innocence and fanny packs vs devil-may-care and elegant leisure pockets. Meanwhile, Germany and Europe-a’bubble-in-2012 are out there somewhere. But reality is suspended in an airport hotel. It consists of a protective waiter, Bitburger Pil on tap, and football commentary humming in soothing and low, as Bremen calmly takes apart Stuttgart FC.

Published in: on 14 Febam12 2011 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  

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