In the 1980s my school organised a trip to what was then known as Jan Smuts Airport. It was a place of wonder for our teenage minds. The travellers looked busy, hurrying this way and that, dressed in suits and smart outfits. We stood on the viewing deck and watched takeoffs and landings and dreamed of flying to far-off climes one day. My friend Sydney Lekala and I, being from rural Hammanskraal, went up and down the escalators several times until we were told off.

You don’t notice the crowds and workers at airports much. Everyone is moving. Everyone is on the go. An airport has a sense of purpose. People are on a journey to or from somewhere. They all have a next step.

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