Written the 8th of June, 2010 in Roissy Charles de Gaulles, terminal 2G, seated in Bert’s café after 14h50
I look around me in this cafe and wonder. When the shuttle bus arrived at this unknown terminal 2G, so far away from the other terminals I asked myself : « what is this ? ». I apprised the grey building without big windows as in other terminals. It looked like another low cost type terminal : a building without soul, an utilitarian building.
The check-in area was no improvement : a big, nearly empty hall with check-in desks and machines. Strange for an Air France-KLM check-in hall. I wanted to eat at the airport, overlooked the Paul’s boulangerie stand and headed towards the embarking zone thinking I should at least find a place to lunch. The embarking zone is fairly simple in its organisation : one big open space for large seats and some green armchairs and duty free shops. Of course I went to the food part that I recognized as a favorite lunch place : Bert’s.
I only know the Bert’s cafe near the Pont de l’Alma. I first went there to get some snacks before my Spanish lessons at the Cervantes Institute and afterwards, it was pre-concert lunch when we went to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. I like the design of this cafe : a subdued atmosphere lighted by circular lamps, tables and chairs or high stools as in any other cafes but most of all a corner with comfortable armchairs.
I like the feeling of being able to observe the world around me, after a light meal, in comfortable surroundings. I think that other passengers feel the same because here people seem relaxed, not gulping their food and rushing to embark. True, I have time to wait and observe as I arrived more than one hour before the call for embarkment. Nonetheless, I hear gentle conversations, two pilots left their seats at the cafe before setting to work in the embarking zone seats.
I arrived for lunch before the rush hour because at 3 PM, the embarking zone isn’t so empty anymore.
In this kind of atmosphere, I look around for new possibilities. Who knows who you can meet in these circumstances ? Everyone finds oneself in unfamiliar settings (except for the cafe personnel), so no one sits with an advantage, geographically speaking, of course. You can always recognise the businessman, the tourist couple, the Japanese salarymen on their way to a business meeting, a Chinese (?) couple, the man wearing a blue Mao like cap.
I like to observe, while waiting, the ebb of passengers ordering a snack, sitting at a table and leaving afterwards for an unknown destination. Travelling for holidays or for work is always an adventure, though I wouldn’t like at all to be on the road every week. It changes from the everyday routine. You are actually changing places and habits. Well, compared to some travellers, I am now pretty used to airport transit : check-in, safety barriers with computer, vest, hat, shoes removal, embarking.
I should be more serious and work. I have some reading to do but I can’t come to grip with it. Maybe on the plane I’ll feel more up to it. And in the « should-process », I should strive to write more, maybe it will give me some useful drive in my present life.