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Memorable airports moments around the world

  ”Walk whenever you want”, “travel around the world” and “travel around the world” are the dreams of many people. Of course, in the era of globalization, taking an international flight has become an important channel to realize the dream of “traveling around the world”. Different airports in different countries, for people who love to travel or travel frequently, may leave indelible impressions just like tourist destinations.
  In fact, with the accumulation of travel experience, what I saw and heard at the airport also increased. For me, the airport bears the excitement of stepping out of the country to a strange country, and also witnesses the embarrassment of rushing home to rest after returning home. The people and things I met at the airport became an important window for me to see the world.
Encounter at Budapest Airport

  In the summer of 2019, at the cafe at the entrance of Budapest Liszt International Airport, Ms. Barbara and I looked at each other. She put down the empty cup and plate she was holding and embraced me tightly.
  Barbara is a tray worker at the airport. She is in her 50s and wears a pair of glasses. She is short and plump. I hold her in my arms and feel very soft and warm.
  The first time I met her was the day I just arrived in Budapest. After the plane landed and walked out of the airport, I found out that Uber, which I have been heavily relying on, was not available in Hungary. Without Uber, it is equivalent to being unable to move an inch. I dragged a large suitcase up and down. According to the instructions of the airport staff, I had to transfer two buses and two subways to get to the hotel.
  I met her on the bus from the airport to the metro hub. Barbara could barely speak a word of English, and I could only guess what it meant from the few English words she uttered. She said to me word by word in English with difficulty: “The subway station…is at the penultimate station…”
  About 20 minutes later, the bus circled left and right on the deserted road in the suburbs, and the station it arrived at was They are basically small villages, and my doubts gradually began to increase. Barbara saw the heaviness on my face, and began to talk to me without saying a word: “Is this your first time in Hungary?” “You wait another 10 minutes to get off.”

Budapest Metro Line 2 built with the help of Soviet experts

  This is the most “alternative” airport in Europe: here, there is a well-equipped gym – while waiting for the plane, you can take off the iron before boarding the plane.

  When the bus arrived at a place similar to a supermarket, she stood up and said to me: “Follow me!” In the next half an hour, “Follow me” became the most words she said to me. I followed her through the various platforms, went up and down the elevator, and finally got on the subway line leading to downtown Budapest.
  At the station where the line changed, Barbara stood up again and said “Follow me”, which took me to another subway line. “This is an old carriage… left by the Soviets…” she spoke to me again in English with great difficulty.
  After several twists and turns, we finally came to the center of Budapest. This is Pest, across the Danube from the other half of the city, Buda. Maybe this is not a place Barbara is familiar with, she herself asks passers-by everywhere. At this time, I could see that she was also tired, with sweat on her forehead, and she sat on the concrete railing by the roadside and took several deep breaths.
  Due to the language barrier, it is difficult for me to thank her with emotional words. She waved to me and we said goodbye. I thought the story of our meeting by chance ended here, until I ran into her again when I was leaving Budapest.
  ”Are you enjoying your time in Budapest?” Barbara asked in slow English.
  ”I had a great time. Thank you very much too!”
  What I didn’t tell her is that if it hadn’t been for her help, maybe I would have just thought of Budapest as a city that relies heavily on tourism and does everything possible to squeeze money from tourists Tourism City. I didn’t tell her that I’ve encountered waiters in hotels asking for tips and waiters in restaurants snubbing Asian tourists. It is because of this adventure at the airport that I believe that there are still good people in Budapest.
cutting-edge airport

  When you arrive at the airport in a strange country, being called into a small black room by the customs officer for questioning is sometimes not a pleasant experience. In the worst case, you may be refused entry.
  In May 2018, at Tallinn International Airport, the capital of Estonia, I had to enter the country alone because I arrived one day later than other members of the delegation. Since I already have a Schengen visa in hand, I think transiting Estonia, which is also a Schengen member state, should not be a problem.

Gym at Tallinn Airport, Estonia

  But at the customs and immigration department, I was called into the small black room by the staff. Baltic states like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are notoriously cautious in screening foreign arrivals. I have heard the news that even if you have a Schengen visa, you will be refused entry.
  Facing the interrogation by the Estonian customs officers, I thought that the first thing I did right was to be sincere, and I firmly believed that my foreign language skills and the information at hand could help me tide over the difficulties overseas. And I also know that Estonia has always advertised itself as the most avant-garde IT country in Europe, and can use the Internet to do almost anything. There are even news reports of Wi-Fi coverage in the bear-infested forests of Estonia.

  The moment the plane landed safely, there was endless applause in the cabin, which can only be experienced by flying Aeroflot.

  So I said to the customs officer, “Excuse me, can I borrow your airport Wi-Fi to open emails? I can show you the emails I have with the Estonian counterpart, and the emails they sent me. Invitation letter.”
  This question of mine seemed to trigger the national pride of the customs officer, and he replied loudly: “Of course! We are a famous country of electronic technology! You can surf the Internet anytime, anywhere here!
  ” It’s easy, and the customs officers don’t care whether the invitation letter or other letters are stamped. After seeing the email records between me and the receiving party, they believe that they have the proof that I can enter the country. After checking the name and address of the contact person I was connected with, and seeing that I have a hotel order in other European countries after I have a trip to Estonia, the customs officers should know that I will not stay in Estonia illegally for a long time, so they exchanged information. nodded.

  After being put into Estonia, I found that this is the most “alternative” airport in Europe: here, there is a well-equipped gym – while waiting for the plane, you can get off the iron before boarding the plane.
  The receptionist had been waiting for me outside the airport for a while, and he joined me on a train of avant-garde light-rail-like trams. “We are a small, green and lovely country. I hope you can enjoy all the convenience and joy in Estonia!”
  Indeed, it is indeed a convenience to be able to use public data to surf the Internet without restrictions at any time. From the airport to the light rail, and then to the intercity bus, free Wi-Fi is seamlessly connected along the way. In the era when mobile phone roaming is still expensive and public Wi-Fi is not taken for granted, this has indeed saved me a lot of communication costs.
Airports connecting Asia and Europe

  For a long time, Moscow was an important transit point for me to and from Europe. Once upon a time, Aeroflot was my favorite route. Not only was the price low, the service of the Slavic stewardess was very warm and thoughtful, but there were also a large number of old Soviet movies in the cabin. The first Eisenstein movie I watched was on Aeroflot.
  Usually on the Aeroflot plane, I either read “Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears” or “The Story of the Office”, or watched several hours of cultural and historical documentaries produced by Russian National Television, and spent more than 10 hours on the plane flying over Siberia tough time.

Bright lights of Istanbul

  Watching nostalgic old Soviet movies, I turned around and saw the Russian aunt behind me smiling knowingly at me. I even tried to be “confessed” by a white boy in the same cabin who held my hand and sang “I love you” while touching my hand. I have also experienced that I practiced unfamiliar Russian with the flight attendant on the plane without saying a word, in exchange for the flight attendant’s chocolate “reward”. The moment the plane landed safely, there was endless applause in the cabin, which can only be experienced by flying Aeroflot.
  After the outbreak of the Russo-Ukraine War, it has become impossible to travel to and from Europe by Russian airlines. If you want to go to Europe, maybe the next best choice is Turkish Airlines. Objectively speaking, Turkish Airlines has more comfortable seats in economy class, and the service level of meals and flight attendants is also higher than that of Aeroflot. It’s just emotionally that I can’t bear Aeroflot.
  However, taking Turkish Airlines to and from Europe via Istanbul naturally has a different style.
  Due to flight schedules and jet lag, I never saw Moscow by night, nor Istanbul by day. Aeroflot does not have the magical feeling of flying over the Dardanelles in the night sky and across Europe and Asia. Especially since the strait is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Black Sea on the other. The spectacular celestial phenomenon created by the collision of two air streams is really shocking. The first time I transited in Istanbul, I saw a huge black hole formed by the dark clouds outside the window, and there were continuous lightning flashes at the hole. This cloud group seems to be the gate to the abyss of hell.
  It was not long before I saw the lights of ships on the dark sea. After a while, the plane will fly over Istanbul, the Eurasian metropolis with bright lights. The scene is like the intergalactic administrative metropolis in “Star Wars”, the night sky is full of flashes of other aircraft landing and landing, and the colorful lights of the big city under the clouds. Most of the flights from the southeast to the northwest stop here, and the night sky is busy, which confirms the important position of Istanbul as a metropolis linking Europe and Asia.
  As the plane descended lower and lower, I saw the famous Hagia Sophia. Not only once, but every time you land in Istanbul, you will have a 10-second air rendezvous with this huge building left over from the Byzantine era. Sometimes I believe that this is some kind of poetic arrangement of all Turkish Airlines pilots.
  The bits and pieces on the plane and in the airport constitute an indispensable part of my “dream of traveling around Europe and Asia”.