14 January 2018

Toilet Rituals in the Duty-Free Section of the Airport

I have done some traveling a few months ago, which involved flying. And in multiple times, I have seen the same strange behavior of passengers when they are in the duty-free section of the airport. I was in Bilbao Airport in October, and again when I was in Brussels Airport in November, I have seen the same thing happen. I see several passengers who would do things that one would typically do in one’s own bathroom.

See, this has something to do with perfumes and colognes. There’s lots of them in the duty-free section of an airport. Heck, when I was in Bilbao, I even spent more than half an hour selecting my new winter cologne. But what I am talking about now is something different.

Sometimes, you see people who select a cologne, and instead of using this small piece of white paper to test it, they apply it directly to their necks and hands. And it’s not about testing the cologne. They actually want to put some cologne on their bodies and using the testers to do so. They have no intention to buy. They simply want some scent on their bodies and they use the opportunity to test colognes in the airport to accomplish that.

And guess what? When you go to the cosmetics area the same thing happens. You see people moisturizing their hands, applying lipstick, doing so many odd things, doing things that one typically does in the privacy of their own home. But somehow, suddenly, this privacy goes away, and everything now happens in the public space of an airport.

I don’t know what to think of it. It is slightly disturbing, yes, also quite bizarre. But at the same time, they are also perhaps being rather clever. Maybe I am just too particular with respect to smells that I don’t want to smell just some random smell that I won’t actually repeat.

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