Thursday, April 28, 2011

on travel, airports, and ICN

be warned. this blog will have a grand total of zero photos.
zero. none. ZILCH.

i mean it.

i remember in the early 2000s when people wrote blogs mainly for their friends and families. i had such a blog, and i often wrote about mundane daily things, so ordinary i won't even bore you by listing them here now. these blogs rarely ever contained photos. flash forward a decade, and you find millions of blogs written for strangers, chock-full of images.

not only do i revert to an image-less entry, but i also digress....

because this is not today's topic.

today i want to talk about airports. if you haven't noticed by now, i love to travel. i travel at every chance i can (reasonably) get, and when i was still working, strategically mapping out the use of my generous vacation allowance was one of my favorite games. but like many other travelers, the love of travel is often tainted by airports and airport security. i dread the security line like you might dread kissing your aunt mildred- you think it's really gross, but it just can't be avoided.

don't get me wrong. i have no issues with the idea of my luggage being scanned (my body, though, is a different story). i get it, there are lots of crazy people in the world, some precautions have to be made. however, every time i go through one of these lines, i am disgusted by how unsanitary everything is.

first, i have to take off my shoes for flights to and from the USA, and walk on a dirty floor. gross. then, i have to put my shoes in a bin. a bin that people also put their laptops, jackets, and other personal items. which means... my personal items are going to bins where other people's dirty shoes have been. and i have no idea where their bacteria infested shoes have walked. my thoughts are consumed with this every time i go into one of these security lines... and once i am through, all i want to do is to disinfect everything that has touched one of these bins.

do you feel my pain?

i was mulling over this as i was preparing to go through the line at seoul, korea's ICN airport, when i noticed that they had two types of bins. shoe bins and everything else bins. i perked up. then i noticed a large, boxy, refrigerator-like container with transparent doors, with a sign that said "shoe disinfection" (or something like that). now i started to get excited. i took a closer look, and inside were rows of slippers. i looked again at the shoe bins sitting out. every bin had a pair of disinfected slippers for passengers to put on while they put their street shoes in the bin.

total love.

i believe this is the first airport i have ever flown through with such a smart, sanitary system. have you ever encountered such airport brilliance?


  1. It's like they built an airport just for you. Excellent!

  2. That is such a clever idea! I've never seen them before at other airports so perhaps it's a Korean invention? :)

  3. oh my gosh, that's amazing! now i'm going to be even more annoyed every time i go through a line that DOESN'T have that.



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