Home Sweet Home

A mega early start: yawn!!!! 0420 get-up Ouch! Good job we packed last night cause with this old house there’s no keeping quiet!

We quickly and as quietly as possible get dressed and cart all our stuff downstairs to the door in prep for Jay tuning up. While we wait Bernice writes on the their message board in the lounge as requested. Jay is very prompt, and the trip to the airport is hassle free. It’s all very quiet!

We grab brekkie and head through the gate before that changes! All is going too well isn’t it! Yep!

You see the reason Bernice has never been keen on coming stateside has always been around the entry and exit chaos, and today just summed it all up for her in a 1er! As we join the queue it’s not very big, bit it starts building quite quickly. The problem appears to be how they are processing everyone. They have a full height x-ray machine (we had this on the flight east to NY as well) that you walk into, raise your hands above your head and stand astride in. They seem to be having some teething trouble. There is a notice up all the way along the line, explaining the new machine, what it does and also saying at the bottom that it’s “optional” …

Surely that means there is a choice then? That you don’t have to go through it and get fried by x-rays? Doesn’t it? On the previous flight there were no such notices and so we went along with it reluctantly. But the alarm still went off when Bernice went through and she was physically frisked anyway. So thinking there’s nothing to lose, she decides to ask to exercise her “option” and not go through it. Especially as when the queue builds (before our turn) they open up the normal metal detector machine and send every other person through this. 50-50 chance right?! Well it didn’t go her way, so she asked…

As you can imagine, this doesn’t go down well. A very predictable conversation pursued … why doesn’t she want to go through, what is she hiding, hadn’t she read the signs  – it isn’t dangerous! Of course it isn’t!  It isn’t optional after all! She is declining on health grounds nothing less, oh and not wanting to be seen naked by the security team through the machine (that is an old wives tale isn’t it? isn’t it?). Eventually they tell her if she refuses then she will have to be frisked by hand, like that won’t happen anyway! She agrees, making the guards blood boil even further (he was a big big bloke!) but he directed her to the side gate to make this so.

Only she thought he said to go through it, but apparently he told her to wait by it. Yep you guessed it, the alarm went off and within seconds there’s a whole heap of bodies surrounding her (at this point Huw is as good as disowning her). Seeing they are just about at tipping point she relents and goes through the new machine. Which goes off and means a frisk down as anticipated. But as if to set and example two women take her to a side room rather than do it there on the spot!

Oh well, as is their want, it was no different from normal and definitely for the benefit of the others in the queue as a warning: Don’t question the system!* Then don’t have a sign up that says it’s optional!

Once the adrenalin had settled down and we were relaxing on the plane, the rest of the trip went pretty smoothly. We had decent movies to watch and if you haven’t already you must watch “Paul”.

So home at last, to the cold, and the wet and the rain … haven’t we been avoiding this for a year? Yuk! Huw’s sister along with his P’s are at the gate to meet us, and much to our relief no one else 🙂

It is good to see them.

*   http://www.propublica.org/article/europe-bans-x-ray-body-scanners-used-at-u.s.-airports/single



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