Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Frankfurt am Main

Baggage carts flit wild with their dollies pulled behind while tugs lug the jumbos and the jets. Lufthansa is the the Lord of all around, yet other airlines shake their tail feathers with pride, competing colours amidst the countless planes that line up end to end, ready for the skies. Trolleys zip between them all, keeping the queue from failing, keeping the airport machine moving. In the distance, a giant hulk of metal touches down, ready to be serviced, confident that all will bow before him.

I look up. Ukraine have just missed a shot on goal, their blue livery a flash of colour between the whites of England. It had been a spark of excitement in an otherwise disappointing game. The lone man at our gate sits down, disappointed. It is just him and us, three in all, watching the people, the football, and the patterns of the vehicles as they perform so dutifully outside.


Small and nimble luggage carts 
zigzag past the fuel trucks; vans follow secret tracks that intersect the thoroughfare, a thoroughfare occupied by wide and brutish flat things, wobbling moving stairwells and a bendy sluggish apron bus; trailers of catering trucks move up and down while belt loaders lift the weights of all the baggage loads from those nimble, zippy luggage carts. In the distance, a giant hulk of metal roars, ready to tear a hole in the sky on its journey to lands far away.

It is unnervingly quiet at our gate. It is still just three people, and departure is imminent. The score remains 0-0. O
utside, everything is moving to a secret rhythm. 

Planes land. Planes take off. Planes taxi and are swarmed by mechanical pilot fish: tugs and ramps, carts and vans, caterers, refuelers, container loaders, conveyor belt loaders and solid states. All around are invisible roads, crossing one another to keep the machines moving, to keep everything ticking. Everywhere there is movement: everyone busy. It is a logistical dream! A vehicular ballet! Another set of engines roar.

A call is made on the radio. Our gate has changed. 
We have to run.