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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Terminal 1 < Terminal 3

Monday afternoon I'll be trekking on up to Pearson airport to pick up my beloved. I'm extremely excited about this! And since I've gone to pick him up a few times now (usually in April when he's returning from Germany), I can pretty much say that I'm a Terminal 1 expert.

The first time I had to retrieve him was two years ago. Living way out in the East end of the city (just on the cusp of Scarborough), I thought it would take me forever and a day to get up there. I gave myself a four hour window to factor in both traffic en route and also people-watching in the terminal once I arrived.

Well, I have to say - and am quite surprised to hear myself say it - that taking the TTC to the airport is both easy *and* fast. Once at Kipling Station (after riding the entire length of the Bloor-Danforth line), I just hopped on the 192 Airport Express and found myself standing right where I needed to be after only an hour and a half of travel time.

Unfortunately, that now meant I had two and a half hours of time to kill before his plane landed .... and my glorious idea of people-watching disintegrated after only half and hour.

Since I was new to the whole "picking-up-loved-ones" brigade, I honestly thought it would somewhat resemble what I've seen in the movies. Lovers in a tender yet exhilirating embrace, large families hooting and hugging each other, friends holding up funny signs on bristolboard, etc. You'd think that people would be excited to have their loved ones back in the city.

Apparently that's not the case at Terminal 1.

I don't think I could imagine a quieter airport terminal. And I know it's not because we're Canadian - I had to pick up some friends arriving in July at Terminal 3 for Chris' film festival, and I found myself in a completely different world.

Everything I had hoped to see at Terminal 1 was indeed happening, but it was at Terminal 3 instead. There were people scattered everywhere and the entire room was filled with laughs and tears and songs and ... just *everything*! And what was truly bizarre to me was that all of this took place where the domestic flights landed. So just Canadian and US flights. Wouldn't there be more to celebrate if you were greeting someone coming back from international waters?

Nope.

The only exciting part of waiting for Chris that first day was seeing the older security guy zooming back and forth on his segway.

So it is with a heavy heart that I must admit that there will be no book written by me on the goings-on of Pearson International Airport, but there is a glimmer of hope as I read about another book transcribing the hustle and bustle and everything inbetween of another airport:

"A Week At The Airport" by Alain de Botton has just come out about what it was like for him as a "Writer in Residence" in August 2009 at London's Heathrow Airport. I think he got the better end of the deal (compared to myself) - there's a lot more to see *and* do there. Hopefully Santa will read my blog and leave it in my Christmas stocking as it sounds like a fantastic read.

Ah well ... maybe I should try the bus terminal ....

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