As we wandered through the Santiago airport, I was stuck by subtle differences. Of course, the lines, the security, the crowds were familiar, but I loved the box of confiscated objects by the security line—what do they do with them, I wonder? They already have filled one box and are working on the second.
I understand most of the stuff, scissors, Swiss Army knives, kitchen knives, the odd corkscrew or fork. But who travels with wire cutters, I wonder.
A book swap stand by the gate also caught my eye.
Very much like our little libraries on the street, only unfortunately without books when I walked by. I’ll certainly leave a book when we leave Chile. Also, though I’ve seen this once or twice before, they had a big children’s play area between gates—such a great idea.
As we waited to board, an employee with nothing better to do carried a hollow cardboard box randomly along the line making sure carry-on luggage fit inside it. She would slide the box over the carry-on, and if it wouldn’t go all the way down, she tagged it for gate check. Almost no one in the US would pass that test. Larry’s bag, which almost fit except for a bulge at the bottom was tagged, while other, larger bags weren’t.Her efforts were totally haphazard. I found the randomness of it frustrating though in practice it hardly made a difference. “Two minutes till the bag came,” as Larry noted.
In the departure lounge at the airport the next day, no surplus airline personnel wandering around with cardboard boxes. The only concession was a store a Sunglass Hut with three salespeople and no customers. “I’d like to get a look at their books,” said Larry.
And finally, another difference is the breakfast buffet. In addition to a pitcher of orange juice, there is always strawberry juice, which s pretty lovely mixed with orange.