Sydney Airport is a conglomerate of confusion. Well it seems so when you step into it with the prospect of several hours, in transit, ahead of you. There seemed to be dearth of cosy, small places in which to sit around – like bars or inviting cafes. Everything was a about Border Control. Faced with gloomy hours ahead and having risen at 3 a.m. that mornng, I didn’t know which way to face.
So being intercepted, not by Border Control, but by a pleasant woman in a yellow jacket, was a welcome Sydney Airport surprise. She was relaxed, friendly, unrushed; and seemed delighted to be explaining a few directions which would get me onto the right track….towards coffee, a garden, some sunshine (having that morning stepped from a long, raw New Zealand winter). She was a volunteer.
‘Oh yes I love my job,’ she told me. ‘We have good training and that gives us the full lay-out of the airport. I come in twice a week for three hour stints. It’s so nice to see people – like you – look a lot happier after we’ve had a wee chat.’ She added that she loves the buzz and the action and the feel of ‘going places’ – without actually going anywhere.
But above all the yellow-coated team remove layers of anxiety ; and it’s because they’re volunteers. They’re trained to have ‘all the time in the world.’ During the eight-hour wait I all but conquered the labyrinths of Sydney Airport’s complexity. And then it was on to Singapore…and India.
from Pauline H