The Berlin Spectator
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The Berlin Perspective: ‘Guess what Happened at the Airport the Other Day’

At the world’s airports, things happen all the time. There are flight cancellations, delays, people miss their connecting flights, or Tom Hanks could walk by and wave at you. On the other hand, nothing might happen at all.

Guess what happened at the airport the other day. At first, everything looked pretty good. There was a nice terminal with conventional looking check-in counters, a conveyor belt at the baggage claim and even an airport bar. The terminal was very clean and elegant.

I didn’t know which gate I had to go to. My flight was not listed. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

But something was very wrong. It took me a while to figure out what in the hell it was. The problem was that it was far too quiet at this airport. Was this aspect connected to the fact that I turned out to be the only person in the entire damned terminal? No, of course not.

There was no luggage on the conveyor belt either. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

So I went to the bar with the intention of pouring some apple juice with soda down my throat. While the bar was open, there was no barkeeper. No apple juice, no soda, no guests, no nothing. At this point I thought I was in the wrong movie.

Where is everyone? Hell. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

“The sooner I check in, the sooner I will get out of this weird place”, I thought. But at the check-in counter absolutely nothing happened because nobody was there. I could have weighed my baggage on one of the scales, but nobody invited me to do so.

Even the bar was empty. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

At this airport, there were no flight attendants, no stupid announcements. Nobody was picked up, nobody was cheated at the non-existing currency exchange place, nobody was fed at the overpriced restaurant.

And nobody wanted to weigh my damned luggage. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Nobody boarded any planes since there were none. Well, there was one, but it was 80 years old and not operational. Besides, there were no pilots. Nobody flew to Barcelona, Brussels or Budapest. Nobody embarked on the journey of a lifetime.

Then I noticed I was at Tempelhof Airport, yet again.