How to Survive Airports

I once had to spend the night at an airport. Malaysia's LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) to be exact. My plane landed at about 1:00AM, buses ceased operation at 12:30AM and resumed at 6:00AM, I could only check in at the dorm by 8:00AM, and I knew my friend had a rough week so I felt like I shouldn't bother her at 1:30AM.

I had only one battle plan. That was to find a quiet spot and read Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, staying awake until sunrise. It seemed easy enough. Though I hadn't counted on the number of passengers who had the same plan - the staying awake until sunrise part, not the Gulliver reading part.

There were throngs of them. Some laid newspapers on the floor and slept. Some staked their claims over the coveted Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf booths and did not even pretend to drink coffee. Some sat near power outlets and hankered at their phones, laptops, and other gadgets. 

I must have circled the airport five times before I found the perfect spot - an empty space next to a power outlet, next to the ladies' room, right across the already full Starbucks cafe.

I sat on my trolley and went to Lilliput with Gulliver that night.

So how do you survive airports?
  1. Bring a book. Or a magazine. My friend who sometimes fetches me from NAIA 3 apparently grabs the free ones there - I found the stowaway inside my bright blue pasalubong bag last November. Words will make the best company especially if you're going to spend much time in the airport alone.
  2. Load your music player with lots of awesome sounds. And make sure the gadget is fully charged.
  3. Bring a scarf. Or a light blanket. If you're brave enough to sleep through the night, you're going to need something to keep you covered and warm.
  4. Have some good movies handy. If you have a laptop, netbook, or tablet with you, yes you can kill time by watching movies, too. While waiting in between Davao-Manila and Manila-KL flights, I was able to watch Crazy Little Thing Called Love and there was still lots of time to kill before I could check in.
  5. Bring a friend. This one is particularly for surviving airport departures. For airport arrivals, "phone a friend" would be more applicable, given that you wouldn't be disturbing that friend too much.
  6. For artists and writers, make sure you have a pen. And lots and lots of paper. You never know when inspiration will strike.
I wanted to write my own Anjeli's Travels after that night at the airport. Maybe I will one day. But for now, let me leave you with the copy of the book that helped me get though it all. Happy flying!

Yes, my table cloth is osom. No, I never got to finish the book. Will finish it this year though.