Dublin airport is a unique institution, because it is THE airport for most of the country. The huge majority of the country have used it at some time, and it is a wonderful place to observe the state of the nation. Five years ago, it was where one would see Polish builders (Is there any Polish man under 40 with hair?) departing home for the weekend as this seasons Lithuanian au-pair clacked by in high heels and sprayed on 1980s blue jeans. Today, you see that scene we thought we had banished, as a tearful mammy has to be pulled off a young departing engineer as he reminds her “Mammy, it’s only Vancouver! It’s not the moon!”
You still see the holiday crowd of course, second-degree burn lobster red and shivering as they come through arrivals like they’ve been released from an alien abduction, blinking in disbelief as if knowledge of Irish weather and the power of sunrays was wiped by a Venusian probe from their minds.
Everyone always does the same thing at arrivals, has that milli-second hope that someone came to meet them at the airport. They rarely do.
The ads, normally for mobile phone services, always have a coy tone, hinting at illicit sexual encounters. It would be fun if they took it to the logical conclusion. “Try our new Morning After Pill app!”
Then there are the airline staff, walking with that swagger that says “Yes, we were once impressed by AirportLand too, but now it’s so yesterday.” You can’t help thinking that in every gay nightclub east of Berlin there must be a respected photo of Michael O’Leary, the Great F**king Liberator who gave them all jobs.
Security is always a saga, especially if you, like me, have the ability to always stand behind the person who gets to the X-Ray machine and then decides to see if they have anything in their pockets, liquids on their person, or just realise that they are at an airport. Could we not have an instant “F**king Eejit” queue where they are immediately made stand with all the other dopes? Let them all hold each other up away from us.
Passport Control needs work. You just know that whilst every other border force in the world spends a lot of time working on cultural sensitivity policies and seminars, our lads have been handed a torn corner from The Racing Post with “Keep an eye out for black fellas!” scribbled on it in biro.
Finally, as we board, there’s the always entertaining last scuffle with the fella trying to defy the laws of physics fitting his bag into the metal frame measuring thing, and giving himself a blood clot in the effort, as Helga from Latvia looks on coldly.