I’m at the airport, waiting for my flight to Kuala Lumpur. It’s late afternoon here, but my body is divided: part of me agrees that the sun is headed toward sundown, and will get there in a few hours, while another part of me thinks it’s really the middle of the night (as it is back in California).

It’s one of those psychological times when you’d much rather be at home, rather than in an airport terminal– a space that demonstrates the amazing uniformity of global commerce and the power of international transport conventions to shape the way places are organized, and yet for all its familiarity remains resolutely alien.

I’ve spent more time in airports than a lot of people, and I think as I travel more, I’m finding them less appealing: the uniform array of mass luxury goods (is there an airport that doesn’t have a Mont Blanc shop?), the fact that I’m often tired and a bit stressed in them, and the knowledge that I’m only in them to be somewhere else, are all starting to generate an allergic reaction. Not that I’ll quit flying; but maybe I’ll get more thoughtful and selective about it.

[To the tune of Paul Simon, “Further To Fly,” from the album “The Rhythm of the Saints”.]

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