Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Airport Writer-in-Residence

Alain de Botton stole a dream job of mine; he got a gig at Heathrow Airport as a Writer-in-Residence. Even better (or worse) he transformed a week of omnitopian adventure into a book called, reasonably enough, A Week at the Airport. Here's a description (gleaned from a CNN story on his project):
"I had a big desk in the middle of departures, with a screen showing what I was typing and most people didn't bat an eyelid as they walked past. Others quickly assumed that it was very normal that there should be a guy writing a book by the check-in desks and came to tell me how I could improve my book and what anecdotes I would be a complete fool for not including. Then there was also a minority of people who just saw me as a useful conduit to information about the location of the restrooms."
Here's another pithy reply to a questioner's implication that airport research must be boring:
"I was delighted not to be going anywhere and therefore, to be free to actually observe where I was. Part of the problem of airports is that we only go to them when we are off somewhere else, and therefore don't see them as a legitimate destination."
Yep, I've added A Week at the Airport to my wish list.

Read the CNN interview: Memoirs of an airport 'writer in residence'

1 comment:

Mansi said...

How does one apply for a job like this? Let me know when you find out.