The Complicated Relationship Between The Airport and I

Have you ever imagined yourself sitting down or standing in a room filled with people who speak many languages? Have you ever imagined yourself waiting in line with people from all around the world and as they speak in their language, you just stand there confused and enjoy the noise anyway? Or Have you ever imagined an airport suddenly empty and you’re the only one inside it?

Well, I lived in that place called an airport for at least two weeks (it happened in November last year). The moment when the airport suddenly became my “home”, felt like a dream comes true.

Changi Airport

When I have nowhere to go, I go to the airport. It started by just spending a couple of hours there, just sitting down and enjoying the free WIFI, continued by writing. Sometimes I would have to stop typing because I would get so curious about the people walking by me. Sometimes the distracting cry of the kids who wanted to buy something, but their parents wouldn’t buy it, or by the conversations people were having. If I knew the language, I would stop typing and eavesdrop on their discussions. As soon as I was ready to type again, my eyes would lock on a backpacker, this time wondering what kind of backpack it was.

The first time I arrived in Singapore, I definitely didn’t know where to go. The airport was the first place that came to mind. And yes, indeed it was where all things started. There were times when I got lost in countries and surely didn’t know where to go, so the airport came to my mind. I got lost in Hong Kong, I disarranged with the China’s planning and couldn’t make it there and was finally stranded in HK for almost a week. At that time, I had a friend in HK so I was kind of safe.

It happened again when I was in Malaysia. I was not exactly lost, I just missed the boarding time of my train. I was supposed to leave Kuala Lumpur but I had no idea where I needed to go, so instead of going around the city, I chose to go and stay in the Airport overnight. This was the third time, I was supposed to leave Singapore in the middle of November but something came up. I finished my job earlier than I expected, so I had nowhere to go since early November. And guess what? The Changi airport was the answer.

All I needed was a couple of days to know this airport inside and out. I even knew when the toilet cleaning woman changed shifts. How long the toilet was going to be empty, so I could wash my face, brush my teeth and wash my hair before the new cleaning attendant came.

A friend of mine asked me “What are you gonna do everyday?”, others asked “Will you get bored?” Or “why an airport?” For me, those were easy questions to answer, I would reply “because the airport has been my favorite place ever!” If I have ever lost one-day, don’t bother to look for me, just go to the airport, most likely you’ll find me there.

The airport is crowded, noisy, and I almost never sleep, but it always gives me a comfortable feeling. If I didn’t mention before, my childhood dream was to become a pilot. I can’t recall why, but just looking at an airplane gives me goosebumps. It makes me feel so warm, comfortable and excited at the same time. Just thinking about an airport already makes me happy. It feels like my blood is boiling inside.

The airport and all the crowded things inside have a deep meaning to me, just like airplanes. Like soul-mates who feel connected to each other, the same goes for me and an airport or an airplane. I love those things. I still remember when I was trying to become a pilot and failed because of my height, I wasn’t tall enough. Later on, I even thought of becoming the aircraft-parking attendant.


Being stranded in this airport for more than 2 weeks was like giving me a chance to recall many things in life. It was like a time of reflection for me, sitting alone at one point helped me to go through all the memories in my mind. Like, how I ended up in Singapore? How life led me until I was at that point of life? And above all things, the airport always has its own stories to cover every story in my life. And I like it. It’s the kind of a place I go when I need somewhere to calm myself down or just to have some “me time”. It’s my “place of escape”.

That is my complicated relationship with the airport. With its crowds, noisy and busy things inside, somehow it could understand my feelings and binds it until I feel comfortable. 

How about you? Do you have that kind of place too?


I am a language trainer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. I love traveling, like a lot. I enjoy walking around, language immersion in different places, have a cup of coffee at some unfamiliar coffee shop, embrace the history or art in many different museums. I love coming across people and blending with new culture. I like having conversations with new people, blogging the stories and inspire people.

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1 Comment

  • ahoo
    July 24, 2014 at 1:23 AM

    I have never had the same experience as a yours..

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