Airports are a dangerous place. I don’t mean that you’re likely to get assaulted in one (although the security screenings come awfully close and have some really bad potential). I mean that for an extreme-budget travelers like me, the pressure to spend budget breaking money reaches diamond making levels. Stress and boredom have an unmatched
The most obvious pressure comes from the food services. I don’t know if there’s a demonic pact between the airlines and restaurants, but the fact that low cost airlines don’t serve meals causes me some serious issues. I can handle a short flight within Europe, but an 18 hour transatlantic Odyssey pushes me to the edge of cannibalism. Today for instance, driven to desperation, I found myself eating at McDonalds. Not only does that make me a bad person, but the food only fills you up for a couple hours so I’m already starving again.
Food isn’t the only money sucker at the airport either. There are the piles of overpriced shops. Maybe they don’t tempt some people, but for me spending hours waiting for a transfer surround by flashy shops is like ex-alcoholic hanging out at a bar during happy hour. I’ve tried to change, but there’s a part of me that will always love shopping. I know it’s a base, materialistic desire and that I don’t need the stuff, but when I’m in the store I don’t care. I want to buy things. I want new clothes. I want gifts for my friends. I want crazy little shot glasses with pictures of Big Ben.
Today I managed distract myself by getting an in-store makeover. My transfer was in Iceland, which is known for its spas, so I tried samples of all the fancy facial lotions and even some hair gel. I wonder if the anti-aging serum I put on will really make me look younger. In any case, I’m sure I looked insane, but one of the advantages of being an ex-lawyer is I still have some decent clothes so the sales people smile at me because they think I might actually buy something. Uh oh, here comes the duty free lady on the plane. Is there no end to these trials?!