10 things to do in the airport while you’re waiting for your plane


1. Eat. In any good airport, there are many places where you can enjoy a burger, a sandwich, even some decent sushi. Take some time while you eat. If you look around you, you will see many people munching on things while doing sudoku. In fact, if you’re not doing sudoku, it may seem to you that you are the only person not doing so. It’s possible that those of us who are not into non-stop sudoku are missing something. If, for example, I was into sudoku right at this moment, I wouldn’t need to continue this list at all. I could simply stop right here and do sudoku for the next two hours, get on the plane, do sudoku for another six hours, and be home, where I could continue the sudoku game I left behind when I headed out on Friday.
2. Drink. There is no shortage of bars in your average airport. What you drink often depends on what time you are flying, and what time it is at the place to which you are going. When I went to Japan a few years ago, our plane departed at 8:00 AM or so. The lounge was full of Japanese people drinking scotch and smoking. While this seemed unthinkable to me, and I like a good tumbler of scotch as much as the next fellow, it actually was natural to travelers who were returning home to a part of the world where it was then 9:00 o’clock in the evening. Right now, if I chose to be on New York time, I could have a flagon of something strong and brown. Except, you know, I just had waffles.
3. Browse the bookstore. Airport bookstores are fabulous, jammed with all sorts of books, even mine. Those that do NOT have mine in a prominent position, however, need to be instructed to do so. Please refer to the book section of this site to bone up on the books that need to be in the airport bookstore. If they are not there, please go to the person behind the counter and complain. Thanks in advance for your cooperation. After that, you may delve through all the best-sellers, classics and vast trove of business paraphenalia, and then get that new sudoku book you’ve been looking for.
4. Purchase a piece of electronics. My favorite place to waste an expensive half hour is the store that you’re sure to find that’s dedicated to all sorts of cables, charging units, and portable DVD players. Just about every time I get to any airport, I realize I have left my cell phone charger someplace else. The newest gizmo I like is made by Eveready, I think. It’s a little tube where you can put one battery. On the top, there is a tiny input where you may insert a variety of connection cables whose tips fit a host of phones and BlackBerrys. I just realize I left that at home. I’m going to get another one now.
5. Look at magazines. Hi. I’m back. After purchasing a new charging unit (and almost but not quite a $350 portable DVD player), I stopped by the Hudson’s and got Scientific American, Popular Science, Wired, The Economist, and a magazine completely dedicated to sudoku. I’m all set!
6. Fall asleep. Jeez. What time is it? Last thing I remember I was trying to finish a sudoku puzzle in my new magazine.
7. Sit staring blankly into space. It’s very restful here in the waiting area. Look at that guy walking by with a suitcase the size of a steamer trunk. I bet he expects to carry that on. People do that now. It’s so horrendous to check your stuff that everybody expects to be able to stuff these enormous, wall-sized pieces of luggage into the tiny overhead storage bins.
8. Try to get an upgrade. Damn. Nothing yet. I don’t even have an aisle seat. If it doesn’t come through soon, I’m going to have to buy food for the flight.
9. Buy food for the flight. If I were going out of Oakland, I’d go for the stuffed turkey dinner. Do I trust the sushi to be good two hours from now? Should I spring for the wrap on the plane?
10. Find a hot zone, a wall plug and a patch of floor. Got ’em! Piece of cake! Only 97 minutes to go! Now what to do… hmm… Ah! I know!

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