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» Airport Stories

Watch your step in Perpignan airport.
A few years back, a mate and I did a nice bicycle tour through France and Spain. We then hired a car to get back to Paris. So what's this got to do with airports? Well, as it turned out, for some reason we couldn't drive the same car from Barcelona to Paris - we had to drop the car off in Perpignan (on the border of Spain and France) and swap it for another one. And the car hire place in Perpignan was at the airport. (strangely enough, the car from Barcelona to Perpignan had French plates, and the one from Perpignan to Paris had Spanish plates...)

Anyway, we arrived at Perpignan airport early in the morning to swap cars. At the car hire desk an American woman was having a loud argument with the car hire bloke because she had lost her voucher and for some strange reason he wasn't prepared to give her a car without either a voucher or a credit card to pay for it. We got the sense that this argument was going to last a while, and we weren't in a hurry, so we went to grab a coffee and wait.

Whilst waiting, I reflected on one of the things I had learned while living in France: the French love dogs. Sitting in this small airport we were amused by the number of people who had obivously brought their dogs along to greet their relatives arriving on flights. Or to have their dogs wave goodbye as they left. Or maybe they just chose to walk their dogs inside the airport. I don't know. However, there seemed to be heaps of them in there (all on leads at least!). I thought this was weird and funny because I couldn't remember having seen a dog in an airport before - except for those a) drug sniffing dogs in most places and b) fruit sniffing dogs in Australia (fact!).

But what makes this story worth typing is what happened next. An elegantly dressed older woman with some labrador sized mutt walked past, and the mutt stopped, arched it's back, strained a bit with that distant look in it's eye that dogs get, and curled out an enormous turd. Right there on the shiny airport floor. Right in amongst the growing crowds of people walking to and from their flights. Sitting there drinking coffee not 10 metres away, we were gobsmacked. And then she just left. Walked on to meet her family or whoever, and left the dog's steaming log lying there like a soft brown landmine.

We giggled like loons at the craziness of this while people kept walking past - most carefully looking the other way, and those with dogs (which of course had to have a sniff) dragging their dogs past. No-one appeared to be shocked, and no-one came to clean it up. There were lots of near misses, and we watched with delicious anticipation for a few minutes, until the inevitable happened: a bloke stepped into it, had a bit of a slide, recovered, and then proceeded to stomp pooey footsteps all through the airport. We gave a little cheer.

Finally, a couple of maintenance guys turned up, and put up some plastic barriers around the turd: like at some road works. They didn't clean it up: just marked it off so no-one else would stand in it. And the best part was the lack of surprise, or even disgust, with which they did this: like it was an every day occurrence in Perpignan airport.
(Sun 5th Mar 2006, 4:01, More)

» Best Graffiti Ever

Paramatta rd, Sydney, Australia
For years on the side of an old factory in enormous black spray-painted letters there was:

A n g e l o f D e a t h !

This graffiti is perhaps 30m long.

But, the sprayer hadn't been very good at spelling, so it was really:

Angle of Death!

Several years later, someone added, in equally large green spray paint:

= 180 degrees.

That stayed there for at least 5 years until the building was turned into luxury warehouse apartments.
(Sun 6th May 2007, 9:35, More)

» Evidence that you're getting old

Being annoyed about all you bastards who say that liking "The Pixies" makes you old!

Come on - they ROCK!
(Thu 28th Oct 2004, 14:56, More)