Is big brother watching me?
Read what I am thinking and then YOU decide.
This week some idiot tried to blow up a plane. People have been blowing up planes to make a point for as long as I can remember. As the saying goes "it's statistically the safest way to travel".
I haven't checked the statistics, but I admit I feel pretty safe. Usually. I've had a few incidents over the years where I was terrified, but for the most part I know that it is more likely that I'll die on the way to the airport than in the air. In the car, we are usually distracted as we speed up I 78, in a panic about making a flight - or worrying about what we forgot - or calling the neighbor to make sure we closed the garage door (twice we've forgotten!). That is probably more dangerous than anything else. I've blogged about I-78 near misses before.
We always give ourselves more than plenty of time. We know travel means long lines. We also have plenty to do on the plane. We also know that schedules are just plans and they often change. But we get there in the end.
This is at least the third time we've traveled home from my in-laws within 3 days of an attempted terrorist incident or major accident. I could write a blog just on travel with kids and our experiences. After some of our trips I could write a book!
This time the issue was security. Reading about how security has been tightened in Europe was somewhat ironic as I drank my Continental Coffee. Yes, I want to be safe. But the added security this trip just made me annoyed! Here are a few of my thoughts from Monday's voyage:
- Is it really necessary to frisk my 9 year old son, not once, but twice?? (Yes, it was two different airports, but still... the first time he was the only one of us they frisked!)
- The underwire of my bra set off the x-ray machine in Frankfurt! Seriously? I mean I wasn't wearing even earrings - and I promise you there isn't enough metal in a wedding ring to make a weapon or millions of wives around the world would have thought of one! The German lady with the scanner said, "I zink it'z yourr BRAAA." She scanned me and let me go. I promise you on a day when I am traveling for more than 15 hours on no sleep, I only wear a bra to appease other passengers! Maybe Obama can say NO BRAS ON INBOUND FLIGHTS TO THE US!
- If you've flown to the US via Amsterdam you know that Northwest interviews every single passenger just before getting on board. "Did you pack your own luggage?" "Did anyone give you something to carry?" "How long have you been gone?" Now it's clear the only thing it helps with is delaying passengers, because Mr. Nigeria would presumably answered these questions in Amsterdam on Christmas Day. We had to answer similar ones in Frankfurt. It didn't seem very useful... who is going to be dumb enough to say "oh, this buddy of mine asked me to bring this bag of white powder. I think it's sugar but I didn't taste it, wanna see...?" And, yes, we remember to look the agent in her eyes as we answered, "We were visiting his parents for Christmas and now we are going home and we packed our own luggage".
- If we had 2 1/2 hours to change planes in Frankfurt, and arrived at our gate about 15 minutes before boarding due to the changes in security protocol, how many people actually missed their flights? We didn't even take time to buy a bottle of water and only used the bathroom once we found our gate!
- The most stressful part of the trip for me was the newest rule: which I call the final hour purgatory rule. Imagine you have 2 children, both of whom insist they don't have to go to the bathroom, but you know both of them have been eating and drinking during the previous 8 hours of the flight. How do you force them to pee? "But I don't have to go?" What is the equivalent of "I'm going to give you a reason to cry!" for peeing??? "But I don't have to go" just doesn't cut it! Because anyone who is reading this blog knows that not being allowed to go to the bathroom is the key component to HAVING to go.
- Part 2 of the new rule: NO personal items allowed during that final hour! For us that meant: No knitting, no video games, no ipods, No newspapers on your lap (but I got away with reading a section). No sweaters lying on your lap - figure out how cold you are beforehand. They also turn off the airline's entertainment system. I think they just want you to pray!
- Part 3 of the new rule - the 60 minutes doesn't include the obligatory 30 minute circling of Newark airport. Can your kids hold it for 90 minutes?
Who knows, it might be my last!
BTW - My kids finally agreed to use the john before the lockdown. I did too, but just the threat of not being able to use it made me think I had to go.... psychological terror??? Have the terrorists gotten the best of us? Well, they have control of my bladder!
So, is Big Brother watching me plan my blogs? Maybe I should show him my strudel tummy so he leaves me alone!