Tempelhof

tempelhof.jpg

It is ghostly in Tempelhof airport. This is why I have come here. An airport where the only flights go from Berlin to Brussels and back is going to be a peaceful place. Parked out the front is a line of empty taxis: the drivers are inside, standing at tables, drinking cups of coffee. The most action is here, around the little coffee kiosk. Inside the hall, the strongest presence is the air.
There is a lot of air trapped in here. Through it resounds the small sounds of the few people waiting. A man shakes and folds his newspaper. Another zips up a bag. Footsteps echo. It is calm here, a good place to sit and think.
It is strange to see an empty airport. Usually they are such busy places, with queues and different languages, all the chairs taken by people waiting and long waits at the vending machine as people try to use up the last of their coins. At Tempelhof, I sit with two businessmen, staring at the indicator board.
BRÜSSEL
BRÜSSEL
BRÜSSEL
BRÜSSEL
There is a change on the board. A plane has landed. I’m excited about this, it is like when the pigeons fly past in Andy Warhol’s film of the Empire State building. Soon, a small group of businessmen emerge from the gates. The men staffing the security point sit up straighter and close their magazines. I like to think of these men changing things as they walk, activating the Tempelhof staff and the taxi drivers, who swill the last of their cups of coffee, and go back to their BMWs.

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