How To Survive Long Stopovers
An itinerary for all the tired and lonely travellers stuck in airports on their way home.
JOSEPHINE RYAN MURPHY
You’ve just made it through the first leg of your journey, disorientated and probably sad. You’re tired, your butt’s a little sweaty from all that sitting, your throat is unbearably dry and you brought way too much shit in your carry on. All you want is a bed and your mam and some chocolate and a good movie but instead, you’ve got to sit in this damn airport for another 10 hours. Unfortunately we’ve all been there so here’s a guide to help you get through it.
10 hours to go: Go get a coffee with the guy you met on your first flight.
9.5 hours to go: Ditch him before it’s too late. You do not want to spend 10 hours with this guy
9 hours to go: Sit in the glass box designed to make you hate yourself and chain smoke while thinking back on all the wonderful friends and places you’re leaving behind. It’s okay to cry. But quietly, there are other people in the glass box.
8.5 hours to go: Go for a wander, maybe there are some cool things in this bedless hell.
8 hours to go: Go to the airport hotel and stare in the window like the little matchbox girl. Consider seducing someone with enough money to have a nice comfy bed in there. Catch your reflection and realise it ain’t gonna happen.
7.5 hours to go: Eat an entire family pack of schoko-bons.
7 hours to go: Sit down somewhere and look through photos of you and your friends covered in body paint and sequins. Cry a little more.
6.5 hours to go: Try and find the coffee guy. Maybe he could give you a hug or pat your head or something. It might help. It’s worth a try right?
6 hours to go: Empty out your wallet. Look through your receipts and try to finally understand where all your money and condoms went.
5.5 hours to go: Buy a kinder egg. Eat it. Use the toy inside to make a stop motion film of your time in the airport so far.
5 hours to go: Try and convince one of the people driving those cart things to let you ride around with them for a while.
4.5 hours to go: Get pissed in the airport bar. Close your eyes and pretend you’re still with all your friends drowning in wine. Have a crazy little giggle to yourself.
4 hours to go: Go to the duty free and use all the samples to make yourself look like your celebrity of choice, it’ll be fun now that you’re tipsy. We suggest ziggy stardust but it’s up to you.
3.5 hours to go: The makeup is less funny now that you’ve sobered up. Use more samples to wash it off.
3 hours to go: Give in. Find a good spot on the floor. Hold yourself because you’re on your own now. Try lying on your right side and go for a little nap. Dream of better times.
2.5 hours to go: Roll over to your left side.
2 hours to go: Go for another walk around, maybe you missed something good the first time.
1.5 hours to go: Find one of those conveyor-belts-for-people and do that thing where you walk backwards on it so you stay in the same spot.
1 hour to go: Find your gate and start walking. Do not miss that flight.
.5 hours to go: Weep with relief and then remember you now have another 10 hours to go except this time you’ll be strapped into a seat with no freedom to wander.