Thai airport authorities confiscated my toothpaste recently.
They said it was 100 grams too much.
What the heck?
They think a fat ass like me will sneak into the toilet of a plane – a toilet the size of a broom closet – meet a few other fat old curmudgeons, mix our toothpaste together to make a bomb and blow ourselves and the plane up?
We have better things to do than that!
This stupid scenario started with those duffers from Europe.
Such asinine restrictions on liquids on board were imposed in November 2006 in the wake of a plot to blow up transatlantic jets uncovered by British authorities
Since then, creams, hair gels, pressurized containers and mascara, for example, can only be taken on board in a transparent resealable plastic bag, though larger quantities of liquids can be carried in checked-in luggage.
(Medicine and baby foods are exempt, as are drinks and perfumes bought airside before boarding. Well, if you ask me, I think perfume seems more lethal but well, business is business.)
Face cream, water or wine, it makes no difference: European airport security will confiscate liquids for years to come as the development of technology to scan for explosives is way behind schedule.
Progress towards a genuine scientific breakthrough allowing the efficient processing of millions of passengers basically remains the stuff of science fiction, the European Commission recently admitted as much.
A document prepared a short time ago for EU transport ministers in Brussels warned that such development “has been much slower than anticipated” and recommended pushing back the target April 2010 date for lifting curbs on taking liquids onto planes.
The commission paper said transfer passengers from non-EU countries should be allowed to carry liquids bought airside onto internal flights from April 2010, but only under “certain conditions.”
These are so vague that the trade body for European airports said that the phased approach suggested will only result in “added confusion” and more bewildered and angry exchanges between frustrated passengers and security staff.
Travelers carrying liquids bought duty-free in EU candidate Croatia and Singapore are already exempted, after their airport security systems met EU standards.
But things have been particularly complicated for those arriving from outside the EU, where passengers able to board a plane with larger bottles in New York, for example, have still had them confiscated on arrival.
Net net: the whole darn thing is a confusing mess.
For someone like me who travel every week, having to take out my laptop (and sometimes being asked to detach its battery or to actually switch the laptop on – yes try doing that with the battery detached, as I was told to do by a security officer at an airport in the United States), to remove my belt, my pen, my shoes – yes my shoes!!! – my watch, my cell phone and the coins in my pocket for inspection is troublesome enough.
Having to be physically frisked is a violation of sorts. What are these retards looking for? A tiny bomb implanted in one of my family jewels; my gonads?
Having to extricate my transparent resealable plastic bag from my bag – and being subjected to the embarrassment of having to show the whole wide world what I carry (“officer, that’s not a bomb, that’s just an ointment to rub on the rim of my anus whenever it itches, and that other tube, officer, is a cream for my best friend’s wife – it’s to make her nipples pink again”) – is an added burden.
And they say there’s romance in travel.
Whoever said that is talking through his ass.
I’ll gladly share my ointment with him.