This last 24 hours has been a day of airports: Cranbrook, Calgary and Toronto. A brief sojourn in Toronto (but without leaving airport culture) at the Delta Airport Hotel. Now I am back at Pearson airport where I have almost 3 hours to kill.
Good thing I enjoy airports so much & (this may sound crazy) Pearson International is one of my favourites. It’s big, it’s global, and (compared to Cranbrook anyway) it’s kind of Canadian leading edge. New styles, colours, architecture. iPads at every seat in my part of the waiting area (...and yes, I realize that not everybody sees this as a step forward ;-) Unfamiliar new products & technology.
But a lot of the global feel comes from the marvellous mix of languages, & the way language is used. Walking past welcome manikins in - how many? 10? different languages. Standing in the queue for airport security, overhearing a mother scold her child in Korean while the man beside me talks into his bluetooth headpiece in Spanish “Escuchame, no quiero nada, entiendas...” An Estee Lauder poster ad, in English & Chinese (why those 2?), promoting the incredible benefits of their facial night serum. And it promises in fine print at the bottom “Effective for all ethnicities”. More accurate, I suppose, to admit only that it is equally effective for all ethnicities. And I love hearing all the announcements & warnings in both official languages although I realize that is very un-British Columbian of me.
We should be boarding the flight for Bogota any minute now. I think I can see my colleague-to-be, Anthony, in the crowd on the other side of the gate.