Airports! In this year, I am seeing a lot of airports. Partly because I have decided that 2012 is my year of Gypsy Roaming™ and partly because I just happen to like airports a great deal. They have everything that I enjoy in life - food, wine, books and the sort of magazines you are only allowed to read in public if you are on or near an airplane; magazines with names such as WOW and LOL and GASP that feature UK celebrities who have scandalously gained or lost a few kilograms or husbands. It's nice to sit in an airport and drink a mint tea and Skype your cousin and, besides, how many other places will you arrive in at 2.30am having to change clothes in a toilet cubicle before staggering out into an overlit shopping mall to purchase duty-free Hendrick's?
There are the lovely new-ish airports such as Kuala Lumpur that have a very exciting walk-in jungle area complete with bird noises that can be confusing if you are a bit jetlagged and have just watched 18 episodes of The Big Bang theory whilst drinking miniature whiskeys; there are the less new ones such as Denpasar where you can buy Pringles with Indonesian ingredients and try to definitely not make any poor-taste jokes about hooch in your luggage. There are airports such as Broome that are sprawled half outdoors with a pleasant water feature, and Berlin's sadly soon-to-close Tegel where they wave you through customs with free chocolate and a ticker-tape parade.
There are airports that are not so great, of course. There is nothing nice about looking out the window of your airplane to see a giant shed with an obese man standing out the front waving glow sticks. Also, I recently had a bad experience at Frankfurt airport where I wanted to punch every single employee square in the face but that might have been a direct result of waking up at 5am in Iceland the previous day and missing my plane.
I like that at Melbourne Airport you can plan your pre-flight activities according to the terminal. If you are going to Virgin, you can massage your liver with vegetable-juice shots at Boost, if it's Qantas you can go to L'Occitane and smell the cologne* that your ex-boyfriend used to wear and have a little cry, and if it's the international terminal you can go and stare at the most beautiful woman in the world. She works at the Qatar Airways counter and last time I was there I almost clung to her leg refusing to leave the country unless she and her sunshine-y smile came with me.
This column is not - I swear to dog - an informercial. I GENUINELY ADMIRE AIRPORTS. Overseas airports make me excited because I am arriving somewhere new and interstate airports make me realise how much of Australia I am yet to see and Melbourne Airport is the totem, welcoming me home, making me safe, ready to take a taxi down the Tulla and back to my own bed.
* Did you see the post BuzzFeed did a while back about the top 10 most terrible spelling mistakes on Twitter? My favourite was "cologne" misspelled as "colon". This led to lots of tweets along the lines of "I love the smell of my boyfriend's colon" and "Mmmm my dad just bought a new colon". I share these things with you because I like you, and also I need to not feel so alone. This month, why I love airports ... most of the time.