Hi, my name is Cy Sinderson and I am an aerophile. It is a serious affliction as people with my condition cannot handle the rigours of modern life without receiving regular succour in the form of time spent experiencing the delicious bureaucracy of travel at airports.
My issues started off as Tripophobia where I feared to go on living without an overseas trip either planned or in the early stages of development. To cope with this potential nightmare, I would create a separate savings account just for my travel expenses and be constantly online collating data about a slew of the most outlandishly exotic destinations, just in case I ever went there.
But once I did save up enough to actually go on an incredible journey of discovery overseas, I would find that my enthusiasm for travel would fade dramatically as soon as I passed through the Immigration counter on foreign soils. So that the moment I stepped out of the destination airport I’d lose interest in my holiday and slink off to my hotel where I’d linger – counting down the days, hours and minutes until I could re-enter the airport and begin the process of checking-in to fly home again.
It was then that I realised; it was the time I spent in the airport I cherished. The checking in; the waiting; the queueing; the fiddling with unresponsive computer stations; the waiting; the staring at departure boards; the waiting. I found myself going to the airport as early as possible on the days of my flight to maximise my waiting time, sometimes even going along ‘accidentally’ on the wrong day so I could sneak in an extra day of queueing, checking-in and waiting. I made excuses to make the 60km round trip to ‘pop by’ Auckland airport, just to help a friend, a friend of a friend – or even perfect strangers – to check-in their baggage.
So you can imagine how difficult COVID-19 has been for aerophiles like me! Not only are the borders closed, there are virtually no flights which means absolutely no excuses to hang out in our nirvana. As soon as I turn up I am told quite firmly that I have no business there and I am to leave. An unmitigated disaster!
Then hope appeared like an airplane navigational light in the sky. The kindly management at Taiwan’s Songshan Airport realised the plight of long-suffering aerophiles like me and offered to start having fake flights in the absence of real ones. Where us poor aerophiles can go to the airport, queue up to our heart’s content, check in, submit our luggage, go through security, board, sit through the safety video – then go home again. In other words; all the best bits of travelling!
I am SO putting my name down for that experience! I want to be on their next fake flight to get my desperately-needed fix of airport bureaucracy.
The only problem is… how do I get over to Taiwan to get it?