|At Charles de Gaulle Airport // My picture.|
Airports are temples of consumption. Between vast duty free shops that sell fine whisky by the liter, cigarettes by the 200 and beauty products by the "airport exclusives", it feels like they are trying very hard to make you spend your waiting time buying stuff. And the little minimalist in me, tired of consumerism, started being fed up with this atmosphere after the fourth airport in a month.
I was told that the Singapore airport was great, so I had a bit of a hope, for something different maybe. And don't get me wrong, the Singapore airport is great, clean, the staff is nice and smiling, there are 40 open counters for 2 travelers at customs... But it is still a temple of consumption.
I think sometimes I have these little phases, of getting fed up with all the shopping and the money spending and the void of society, and I stop believing in human societies or something. After having gone to LA, which is its own little consumption center, seeing that many airports, I think I saturated.
And I thought, why are there only shops and restaurants in airports? People wait for hours in here, in a proper human society, there would be more interesting things to do than just leading people to consumption. Why not culture? An exhibit of sorts, some panels with explanations, or some QR codes to scan with our phones and tablets to get interesting stuff to read on the country we are in. Something that promotes knowledge and human growth.
By the time these thoughts had bloomed in my head, I was in Paris, waiting for my transfer to Montreal. At the Charles de Gaulle airport, everybody does their best to promote French elegance, so most shops were about perfume, high end make-up, luxury clothes and fine food. By that time, with two more hours to wait, I was getting depressed. And suddenly, a museum appeared.
There is an "Espace Musée" in the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. At the terminal 2E, gate M. Hidden in a corner, free, waiting to be visited. It is these little signs that restore my faith in everything. In the end, we humans can do the worst, but also the best.
Of course, a tiny little empty musem in a big temple of comsumption isn't ideal, but that's something. Just like blogs on minimalism, TED talks, and many other initiatives that make me believe that anything is possible.