"Airports are the one place you can never totally suss out a square: that square may just be a vibrant rebel in a necessary disguise. Because, after all, they‚re just about to get a plane out of here and it could be going anywhere for any reason. And they might only dress like that cos they're from Denmark."
By George Berger
COPYRIGHT © 2003, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The greatest people in the world are found in airports, particularly between the hours of midnight and 7am. In airports, you can legally get served a whisky whatever the hour. The place where everyone is going somewhere, where it might actually be worth bumping into someone (compare and contrast a bus queue where you live).
Airports are the one place you can never totally suss out a square: that square may just be a vibrant rebel in a necessary disguise. Because, after all, they‚re just about to get a plane out of here and it could be going anywhere for any reason. And they might only dress like that cos they're from Denmark.
Stansted 6.30am. The most beautiful women in the world are to be found in Denmark. The rest are to be found in airports. And, unlike anywhere else in the world, you might just stand a chance of getting involved with them. They might just be hippies in a nice disguise, about to make love, not bad punk records. Because they're about to get on a plane, and you don't know where to...
"Can you do me an Irish coffee?"
"Sorry sir, I can't."
"Look, drop the sir shit, can I have a coffee and a Jameson's please?"
Only in an airport bar in the middle of the sleeping hours. Whilst the other barman practises keepy-uppy and world-cup fantasies.
Airports are at once the most rock'n'roll places in the world, and the least. In other words, they are one of the few refuges that still offer you the choice. Despite the armed guards and the body searches, they are the "permanent revolution" so beloved of international Socialists.
They are the last bastion of romance, the last breath of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg's final orgasm. They are lost in time and space, and I rarely feel as alive as at times like these, in the secure womb of an airport bar, with bad hip-hop blowing out; between the hours of midnight and 7am. With an Irish coffee, which looks like a normal coffee once the whisky glass has gone and taps into the‚square in disguise analogy mentioned minutes ago, and which will be further played upon in subsequent columns.
Mine's a flight. Make it a double.
George Berger is a freelance writer, with punk rock dna. He has written for Sounds, Melody Maker and Amnesty International among others. He has also written 3 books, with one published thus far: Dance Before the Storm: the Official Story of The Levellers (Virgin Books 1999). George edits abisti. He lives where the mood takes him and funds allow.