It isn’t the way it used to be. Now you have to make sure you have all of your gear and the cords and the peripherals that you need to run them. Do you have the cord for the netbook? How about the mouse, the touchpad is too sensitive you need a mouse. The mp3 players have to be ready to play, God forfend that we should not be amused every step of the way, or that we don’t have something to study as we sit in an airport. It’s voyages in self improvement as well as a trip you know. Learn how to speak a foreign language, how to construct even a better website, how to negotiate a new program, how to … just about anything. Americans are wild about improving themselves, and they fill time vacuums with that. Self improvement and communicating with their friends and enemies. You see us hunched over all manner of items making our point, men “doing the Blackberry prayer” in airports, women talking on the iPhone, serious students pecking away on their laptops while sitting on the floor like abandoned dolls. We are earnest about talking to someone else. You never notice those who are just sitting there, only those who are trying to talk to someone else, usually someone far far away.

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