Posts tagged ‘Abstract City Blog’

September 29, 2010

Travel Tales: Red Eye

I’m a big fan of Christoph Niemann’s Abstract City Blog, and although I’m a little disappointed that he hasn’t posted in a while, it’s some consolation that his last entry was Red Eye. (You should also check out his other posts, Haunted Household and I Lego NY.)

Niemann’s Red Eye documents the journey from New York to Berlin, with a stop over in London. Specific locations are irrelevant, though, as he could be illustrating any international flight, I would argue, regardless of duration.

I actually prefer red eyes or very early morning flights. The airport is usually quieter, there’s less of a hassle to get there because you often don’t need to factor in traffic, and it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you could be going to sleep that night and wake up in another country. Travelers Notebook has also compiled a list of reasons why red eye flights might be better.

The truth is I don’t like flying. Or, really, I don’t like airplanes. I love airports, and I’ve never been afraid of flying, but I just don’t like planes (and not only because they make my hair flat, but it does have something to do with that). Christoph Niemann was absolutely accurate in his flight depiction, especially with the peanuts. I’m a firm believer in checking the obviously empty bag a few times because I honestly could have sworn there was at least one more. But there never is. Maybe that’s why I don’t like flights. I lose all depth perception and sense of time. I’m always surprised when I wake up from a satisfying nap and find out we still have six hours to go. Naturally, I can’t get back to sleep after I’ve made this discovery. And then there’s that airplane smell.

Airports, on the other hand, are a dream. Aside from allowing for fantastic people watching, I never get as much reading done as I do in airports. I look forward to fairly long layovers, four or five hours should do it, where I can set up camp and just relax without having to rush to my gate. Singapore Changi Airport is hands down my favorite, and was also voted 2010’s World’s Best Airport by the World Airport Awards (they’re somewhat of an authority on the world’s airports). Of the 10 Best, I’ve been to nine, unfortunately I haven’t made it to Incheon yet. I don’t think I could vividly recount my experience at each of them, as the trips were all family vacations when I was the between the ages of five and 17.

I don’t know why I’m being so tough on flights, maybe only for the sake of argument. If it hadn’t been for a return flight from Boston to Shanghai via San Francisco, I never would have flown over Alaska and taken this picture:Thanks for saving me a trip to Alaska, United Airlines!

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