Is a Ramp More Exciting than a Bridge?



Luton airport is small and mainly utilized by cheap airlines which are called ebudget airlinesf. Recently almost all airports adopt the bridge system on which passengers can walk into the plane through a bridge directly from the terminal building. However, at Luton, we have to go out of the building, walk on the ground and climb up a ramp in order to board the plane. This old system seemed to be interesting to my wife.

eThis system is much nicer because we can see the airplane better, isnft it?f she said. I agreed with her. It is more exciting to board a plane by climbing up a ramp rather than using a bridge. It is proved by the fact that important visitors such as foreign kings or prime ministers always appear from their plane on the ramp. It seems as though the boarding of a plane by a ramp is produced to dramatize visits to the nation.


The three of us fell asleep as soon as the plane took off. Because it was an early morning flight, 99 per cent of the passengers were sleeping. After a two hour flight, and additional one hour from the time difference between UK and the continent, our plane began its descent at half past nine.


Sweden is called ethe country of forests and lakesf and there are a lot of lakes especially around Stockholm. As the first book of the Martin Beck series describes, you can go by boat from Stockholm, which is at the east coast, to Göteborg, at the west, through lakes and canals. It is as though you are traveling from Tokyo to Kanazawa by boat on canals. As the plane was descending, we could see a lot of tiny islands spotted on lakes and the scenery reminded me of Matsushima, a famous island district in north Japan.


We arrived at Västerås on time. The name of the place may be pronounced as evasterasf by English speaker. (A stewardess announced in such a way.) To be precise, an eaf with two dots is pronounced like eef in Swedish and an eaf with a small circle on top is pronounced as a hard eof. So the name of the place should be pronounced like evesterosf.

eWe are in the middle of nowhere!f said my daughter Julia and it was the truth. The airport was in an isolated place. The terminal building looked like a public library of a small town. There was only one plane at the airport, the Ryanair jet, from which we came from.


On the time table of Ryanair, this airport is described as eStockholm- Västeråsf. However, this place was more than 100 km away from Stockholm. It is as though there were an airport in Himeji, which is 100km away from Osaka, and this airport were to be called eOsaka Airportf. It felt a little like a con or ebetrayalf of the airline. When I said this to my wife, she replied,

eIf it was only Västerås that was written on the time table, normal people would initially have no idea where it is. By adding the name of the nearest big city like Stockholm, we can know where it is approximately.f

She interpreted the matter quite favorably for the airline.


A coach was waiting in front of the airport, which should bring us to Stockholm. We bought our ticket and got on the coach, but it still had not started after twenty minutes. One of the passengers complained to the driver and asked why he had not started the bus. The driver replied,

eThere are too many passengers today for one coach, so I have ordered another coach. I am now waiting for that coach to arrive.f

The passengers tried to persuade the driver to leave without waiting for the other coach, but the driver refused as it was against the company rules. After another half an hour of waiting, the other coach arrived and we could finally leave for Stockholm.