Tag Archive | TSA

Oh, Say Can You See?

DSCF3494We arrived at JFK at daybreak: the sky is clear and the weather looks lovely. We schlepped from Terminal 7 to Terminal 4, after taking the wrong train. No big deal, we have hours before our flight leaves for Jo’burg.

Once again, we sailed serenely through security – they batted even fewer eyelashes here than they did at SFO. They had lingered a few extra seconds over my bag at SFO. Later, I realized that I am carrying the katadyne water filter – probably an interesting cylinder to TSA’s X-ray view.

I’d like to nap, but I don’t sleep as easily as Steve, which you can see below. I’ll aim for some zzz’s on the Jo’burg flight.

Security on 9/11

We are anticipating security hassles as we have everything a terrorist might need: various equipment to navigate Africa, fix a failing Land Rover, make a good cup of coffee, supply a school and a soccer team.

Electronics include a Garmin Nuvi GPS, a netbook with GPS receiver, plus the standard electrical stuff including flashlights and cameras. Then we have the cords, wires, plugs, and accessories to recharge from any socket anywhere, car lighter, even solar. We have a first aid kit with enough prescription pain killers to anesthetize a plane-load or enough laxatives to keep everyone “busy.”

Then there were the unusual nondescript liquids — sunscreens and repellents in various liquidifications and colors. Together, we must have had the ingredients for a nuclear bomb, or at least something flammable, or at the very least a good try at Hogwart’s Vanishing Potion. And that was just our carry-on’s!

In our checked bag was a roll of duct tape, straps, pliers, Leatherman multi-tool, and knives. Plus, just to confuse TSA, eight deflated soccer balls strapped tightly together along with eight steel tube hand pumps. Certainly, flying into New York on 9/10 and out on 9/11 would trigger extra security. I rehearsed it in my head, very calmly explaining our trip to TSA, and I braced to be repeatedly patted up and down and questioned. Nothing could have prepared me for TSA’s reaction: Nothing. We glided through security without a hitch, question, frisk, or bag search!

Either TSA’s personnel and equipment are incredibly advanced or we should all be very scared.

At Last: SFO

SFOFinally, after all of the planning and plotting, packing and repacking, stuffing and sorting, trying to reach balanced bag nirvana, we are here at Gate 82 at SFO. After a gin and tonic and a crab and shrimp quesadilla, I’m starting to get that “on vacation” feeling. There’s always an element of grumpiness when we first set out on a trip. But, a box of Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, squirreled away months ago, was liberated from my bag, creating a more celebratory mood. After all, today is our first wedding anniversary!

Now we are off to whatever security shenanigans await us, traveling through JFK on another anniversary: the attacks on the World Trade Center towers.