Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shopping and sleeping part 1

My last post made me think about airports in general. There are some that I love, there are some that I hate, and finally, there are some that I’d rather chew my leg off and bleed to death than visit ever again. In other words, I’m just like most travelers.

But unlike most travelers, I rate my airports according to a super-sophisticated, scientific methodology. It’s extensive and complex, and took years to perfect, but fortunately, it neatly comes down to two easy to grasp points: shopping and sleeping.

(Eating is not all that important to me, as long as there’s a soda vending machine nearby and a place to buy a bag of chips, I’m all set.)

Shopping is self-explanatory. I love to shop. It’s hands-down my most favorite activity. And because I’m lazy by nature, I don’t want to go far to indulge my need for designer sunglasses and skin creams.

Some airports, simply based on their proximity to shopping nirvanas of New York or Paris, you’d think would be magnificent places to buy, buy and then buy some more. Sadly, you’d think wrong.

Paris CDG is a vile pit of dirt with pedestrian selection of big-name brands. The airport shopping options seem to cater almost exclusively to Russians and Chinese, who push and shove and scoop up make-up on sale like it’s going out of style.

New York airports are shopping disasters not even worth mentioning here.

And then, there are the likes of Dubai and Narita. As far as I’m concerned, Dubai is as close to paradise as one can get. What am I saying? Dubai IS paradise. A 24-hours a day, 7-days a week shopping paradise, all within the comforts of your departure gate. And there’s even a Baskin Robbins there. Yes, I’m sure the rest of Dubai is also lovely, but why bother? I can satisfy all my needs without ever visiting the city.


After several years of living in a third-world country without a donut in sight, this proved to be an orgasmic experience.

Narita, on the other hand, is Narita, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from the Japanese, right?

Unfortunately, when traveling to Seoul this summer, I won’t be transiting through either Dubai or Tokyo. Not even Paris. I’ll have to make do with Helsinki. Which leaves me with a serious problem, and anyone who’s seen the airport shopping options in Helsinki will understand my pain…


Dubai, oh how I miss thee, let me count the ways... Chanel, Dior, Michael Kors, Prada...

Next time, we’ll discuss sleeping in airports.

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