Monday, October 27, 2008

YVR - a tale of two arrivals

On Friday I went to YVR (Vancouver's Int'l Airport) to pick up a friend returning from abroad. I had picked up the same friend eight months previous at the same place. The arrivals area has changed a bit since last time.

The first picture is from the arrival in February. I walked in and was struck with a sense of deja vu (not that odd, as I had been there before). I realized that it wasn't deja vu but simply familiarity from having seen it recently. Where? The Robert Dziekanski* taser death video. I was standing right where the video had been shot. Eerie, let me tell you.

This time around the room has changed significantly. There is no longer a plate-glass wall between the waiting area and the inner arrival area. Instead there is a large information centre open to both rooms in the arrivals area. Friendly staff eagerly asked if they could help me. Above the info booth there are several tv screens, one of which shows the second image on the right: A welcome sign in English, French and Chinese and a rotating selection of greetings from other countries, one of them Polish. Much more friendly than a taser.

* For those that don't know, Robert Dziekanski was a Polish immigrant that died after being tasered by RCMP who were trying to subdue him after YVR security called for assistance to deal with the distraught (and belligerent) man.

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