Today I am flying back to Oxford. Israel’s airport is up to par these days, in comparison to what it used to be. There are, ostensibly, three terminals, though you’ll only ever see one of them, but since it’s called Terminal 3, it gives the illusion of the place being bigger than it is.
Once inside, there is a cavernous space, meant to remind you how powerful, important and very international Israel is. The ceiling of the departures hall disappears above in a glassy peak that reminds me of Heathrow’s Terminal 5, except that there aren’t any beautiful supports. It’s a big shout of “Look, Ma, no hands!” Which pretty much sums up how a lot of things go down here. There’s a big culture of what we call “partach” – I can only describe it as an old television set being repaired with lots of brown tape by a smiling man who charges you for fixing it and tells you it’ll be okay, it’ll be okay.
ANYWAY – that is where I will be later. At the airport. Clutching my copy of Catch-22 everywhere I go so that I don’t have to look around too much. Because there’s going to be someone there, someone who is a friend of a friend and who will be on the same flight as me. Someone who I have met only a handful of times and whom I don’t feel like needing to make small talk with.
Is there anything worse than making awkward small talk when you’re traveling and feel like just zoning out into your book? I am not sure there is.