Imagine this : at 5.00 am, when London is quiet and empty and beautifully peaceful, and the sun is about to rise – you are sitting on the first floor of a red doubledecker, in front of the window. This bus takes you on a fantastic ride through slowly awakening London. There is nearly no traffic, St. Pauls is as beautiful as ever in this shimmering morning light, and suddenly standing up this early wasn’t bad at all. I might even do it again.
Another advantage of flying early (7.30am) on a Sunday morning : no check-in queues. My empty suitcase went through without problems. However, my screaming orange handbag did have a less succesfull trip through the x-ray machine.
“Huh ?” was all I thought, when I saw it getting transported to the handsome security man.
In my head I was quickly scanning it’s contents. There wasn’t anything sharp in there, now was there ? (I had a pocketknife in my backpack once, and that was embarrassing enough). The security man asked me to come over, and asked me the obvious question.
“Is this your bag ?” he asked.
No I am just walking around with it” I wanted to say.
“Yes it is” I answered.
“May I have a look in it ?”
“Of course” I said.
There wasn’t really much in it, keys, notebook (the paper version), book, my small Canon Ixus digicam, and an enormous amount of cinema tickets, theatre tickets, leaflets and other London memoires.
“Are you flying home ?” he asked.
“No, London is home” I said.
“Ahh, London is your home” he nodded. He didn’t ask where I was going.
He fished my camera out of my bag.
“Has this camera ever been damaged ?” he asked me.
“Uhm, yes it’s damaged right now.” (A corner of the CF card lid broke off a year ago.)
“Has it ever been repaired ?” he continued.
“No, it hasn’t” I said.
“And what a silly question is that really ?” I asked him.
He looked at me. “Well” he said. “If it had been repaired, they may have put explosives in it. In the batterycompartment”.
I looked at him in disbelief, and wondered if he had seen too many movies.
“You are kidding me right ?” I asked him.
He wasn’t, obviously, he looked dead serious.
He swiped the camera with a special brush, and put the result of that on a piece of paper. I couldn’t see anything at all coming off my camera. The brush looked like the ones they take fingerprints with in CSI. This was getting interesting.
He took the paper and my camera to a special machine, and checked it again. Don’t ask me what he checked, I have absolutely no idea.
He came back with it. “Everything is ok” he said.
He put my camera back in it’s bag, carefully putting the wristband in too, and handed it to me.
“Lovely” he said, he smiled now.
“Yeah, you too” I was nearly going to say.
“Thanks” was what I said. And I wandered off to my plane.
In Aarhus I did the things I had to do. The weather was nice, Denmark looked nice from the sky with the yellow fields, but I wasn’t in doubt, this wasn’t my place anymore, and I gladly jumped on board of the plain flying me back to London, about 10 hours later. My handbag went through security without them even looking at it.
5 thoughts to “Easy like Sunday Morning”
Pffff, what a story ;-)
I once went to London without my baby, so I had to take my breastpump to keep the milkflow going. It looks like something completely different in an x-raymachine ! After checking my purse the security officer was too embarrased to say anything. But the other officers had noticed allready. I laughed all the way to the gate….
Security checks are really interesting technology showcases these days. When we went to see tower of london our handbags were vacuum-cleaned (or so it seemed at least). The guards were poking what looked like a vacuum-cleaner in our bags – suppose it was the electronic equivalent of a bomb-dog.
Another me too story.
Happened in another millenium.
Flight from Brussels to London.
In Brussels no hassles, in London they found my butterfly knife in my suitcase.
A gift from my father in law.
First they wanted to conficate it, but after a lot of pleading it went into ” her majesties warehouse”, waiting for my return to Brussels.
Still have that impressive looking document.
Sealed in a plastic bag it was given to a flight attendent of the return flight.
Only was handed back to me at a special police counter at the checkout in Zaventem (Brussels airport).
No fines, I was able to walk the London pavement. Still have the knife.
Back to you Ingrid, this is your blog actually.
BTW, they vacuum for miniscule traces of explosives and have special machines to run rapid tests. happened to me as well at the knife episode.
@Joachim – I’m just curious, but where are you located ? Do you live in London too ?