In the summer of 2009, Alain de Botton will be invited by the owners of Heathrow airport to become their first ever Writer in Residence.
He will be installed in the middle of Terminal 5 on a raised platform with a laptop connected to screens, enabling passengers to see what he is writing and to come and share their stories. He will meet travellers from around the world, and will be given unprecedented access to wander the airport and speak with everyone from window cleaners and baggage handlers to air traffic controllers and cabin crew.
Working with the renowned documentary photographer Richard Baker, de Botton will produce an extraordinary meditation upon the nature of place, time, and our daily lives. He will explore the magical and the mundane, personal and collective experiences and the interactions of travellers and workers all over this familiar but mysterious site.
Like all airports, Heathrow (the 15th century village of Heath Row lies beneath the short stay car park) is a 'non-place' that we by definition want to leave, but it also provides a window into many worlds - through the thousands of people it dispatches every day. A Week at the Airport is sure to delight de Botton's large following, and anyone interested in the stories behind the way we live.
Author Biography: Alain de Botton is the bestselling author of books on the philosophy of subjects including love, travel and status. He is the founder of The School of Life, an organisation in London for whom he has conducted a guided weekend tour of Heathrow airport.
"Face of the Airport" is a non-fiction work in progress. The events that happened and are described in this book are true, recounted, and dialogued from the best of the author's memory. It's a collection of stories of a Travelers Aid volunteer (the author) at a major United States international airport who knows from experience that the minute he puts on his Travelers Aid badge he can immediately become a prime target for some who suffer from what he calls "air rage." To a lesser extreme, he could encounter the demanding "all about me" person; the spacey novice; the "deer in the headlights" individual; the "all about business" personality; or the laizzez faire casual. On the other hand, he knows that 99% of the people he assists today, tomorrow, or next week, will be openly gracious and thankful.Airports are the places of numerous stories. While they are joyful most of the time, some can turn out to be unpleasant. The author invites you to read through these bizarre, sad, funny, some just routine stories. The reader will be amazed by what Travelers Aid volunteers experience in their continuing efforts to offer a "helping hand along the way." It's an ongoing story and an ever-growing "notebook" of continuous "work in progress" experiences. Readers may discover why some of the richest people in the world are not millionaires; they are, in fact and deed, volunteers. Travelers Aid volunteers are the "face of the airport." This book captures just a few of the author's experiences.
Airports can be a great way to pass your time if your know how to go about it. Some people waste all their time at the airport, just because they don't know what can be done there. There are many ways in which you can pass your time at the airport in the most productive of ways. You just need to be a little prepared for the waiting period at the airport that you are expecting. Even if there is a sudden delay leading to a long waiting period at the airport, you can do many things that will keep you busy and occupied. While some people might prefer leaving such decisions to the last minute, but is always advised to be ready for what is to come your way.
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