Jaeger Mah: Airport Living for 80 Days


Monday, October 31st, 2011 — 1:10pm PST
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Jaeger Mah is 76 days into his 80 day stay at the Vancouver International Airport (“YVR”). During the summer he won the Live @ YVR contest to become a live-in reporter at the terminal and has stayed on Sea Island ever since.

Live @ YVR Jaeger Mah
“I can officially check three items off my bucket list:
1) Feed a wolf eel 2) Wed two lovers in holy matrimony
and 3) sing songs with a famous country musician.
The best part is, I did it all in one day!” – Live @ YVR

“This is the biggest thing that’s happened to me,” Jaeger told me during a call last week. “It becomes your world, it becomes your life.” This assignment has been enlightening for Jaeger to say the least who said he’s experienced the “heart and soul” of the airport over the last few months.

Through behind-the-scenes tours, job shadowing, interviews with travelers, and staying overnight in the Fairmont looking out onto the North runway, Jaeger has been able to crank out dozens of videos and blog posts about life at YVR. Video production has been a hobby of Jaeger’s for years and he has been able to hone his skills through this intense schedule.

He admits that he had no idea how airports operated when he signed up but now that he’s been able to follow and document some of the 24,000 people who work on Sea Island, he has a deep appreciation for all that makes YVR tick. “I have been granted this amazing wealth of knowledge that most people don’t have.” Jaeger described airplane operations, loading up cargo, and some of his own touching interactions with employees, one who even brought him home-cooked meals.

“I didn’t expect to get five cavities filled,” he laughed. There is in fact a dentist in the domestic terminal that looked at his teeth when he complained of some pain. A couple fillings later (and some education about his teeth grinding) his personal health even benefited from this unique job experience.

Now an authoritative expert in all things YVR, Jaeger offered up a great suggestion for those who want to go hang out on Sea Island for a day to get a small sample of what he’s enjoyed. He said to take the free shuttle from the Main Terminal over to the historic South Terminal. You can check out old photographs (this was the original airport after all), watch planes land on the river, and enjoy a burger n’ beer at the Flying Beaver.

From the sounds of it, Jaeger is going to miss the place he’s called home for the last 19 weeks but at least he has personal diary blog posts and photos along with over 60 videos filled with memories that will live on. As for what’s next? He’d like to continue documenting, sharing human interest stories, and even exploring more airports around the world.

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