Monday, 27 June 2011

Life in Transit

It is smoking hot in London so I have decided to take a break from crazytown and head for a place where air conditioners are abundant and police carry firearms. Yes, that's right, SMW is chilling at various safehouses in North America. Travel is always interesting. Having seen and heard about a few too many security "lapses" in airports I have become increasingly, shall we say, alert when I fly. Airline security might not profile, but I do. While most people are scrolling through pictures on their Iphone in the departure lounge I am walking inconspicuous laps around it, looking for unusual activity and checking out males flying solo (I have other criteria too, and I guess given the new husband wife suicide team tactic I am going to have to expand again). Once I am on the plane I figure there is nothing more for me to do unless someone sitting in my immediate vicinity tries to light themselves on fire, so I try to sleep and watch movies (this is when I am not trying to make a mental profile of everyone sitting in my immediate vicinity). Yes, I have to admit that living in London has possibly pushed me to the edge of paranoia. Regardless - on most flights I get in a movie or two and some sleep.

My planesleep has become less frequent ever since I was groped by a male passenger while I slept on an overnight flight a few years ago. The crew on the plane were very good in their handling of the whole fiasco, but needless to say I know have an additional in flight security procedure that involves building a miniature barricade between myself and the person next to me - particularly since the crew told me this was not an entirely infrequent occurence, particularly when dealing with travellers of a certain ethnicity. I digress...

I wish I kept a book of things overheard in transit. In the airport lounge I listened to a Saudi male complain about how he was treated by US customs. He then rattled on about how much he hated, absolutely hated Americans. Even going as far as too say that he wanted to kill himself every time he was in the States. Hmmmmm.... a young Saudi male, sitting in airport lounge rattling on about how he hates the US. I wonder why anyone at US customs would give him a hard time.

Two boys, approximately aged 7-10, were hanging out, clearly bored out of their mind. One asked the other, "what should we do?" "I don't know," the brother replied. "We could start hitting each other again."

As I disembarked the plane I overheard a guy flirting with a young lady. He tells her he is a police officer. She sounds excited to be chatting to a cop, and then he admits that, well, he is actually just a volunteer police officer at the Met.

I pick up my bags (which for the first time in ages no man offers to help with - not that I need it - it's just a little touch of North America that I miss) and head for the parking lot. Twenty minutes later I am in the car, radio on, windows down, heading to the country. Tomorrow the jetlag will hit and I will come back to the real world (ie read the news), but today I love being back in North America.