Apropos of my recent journey home via Incheon International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport, I have to say that even though Darren Barefoot points out the many ways we can stay amused during flights, thanks to technology, I don't think we're at the point where we can say "we'll never be bored again." Because when my Shanghai layover got delayed by two hours, not even all the unread entries on my FAIL Blog RSS feed could keep me from wishing I was just on the plane and on the way home already. I had millions of RSS'd posts to catch up on (even if Google Reader claimed it was 1,000+, as usual) and another 200 pages of Revolutionary Road to finish --- but all I wanted to do was put my head down (preferably on a soft pillow), pass out and wake up in Singapore.
When I was in Korea, I took bus and train rides that lasted two to four hours, and none of them were as painful as these flights of equal duration. Part of it was that we were literally on the road, so there was always a definite sense of progressing somewhere, as opposed to an inchoate maundering through cloud and sky with no real landmarks. But a more important part of it, I think, was that we had comfortable, wide seats, with plenty of legroom (and headroom, come to think of it). And they didn't even try to serve any reprocessed mulch and pretend it was real food.
I know, I know, the economics of air travel are different. But one can't help wishing things were different.