white guy approaching, grab him!!!

April 13th, 2006

I usually have a lot of blog ideas when I travel. A lot of time is spent waiting, practically wasted, the mind wanders. I rarely make anything of it, it's not practical, but it does come to me more intensely than at any other time. Today, though, I didn't have to look far.

I arrive at Schiphol ridiculously early, two and a half hours before my flight. I guess I don't like to be late, but this was way far ahead of time compared to the margin I usually allow myself. I check in and line up for the now customary security screening. I don't care for this, I always have to take off my belt cause it sets off the buzzer. I put my bag down, it goes through the little car wash and I walk through the detector. Nothing. I see the guy in front of me being body searched. I've never been body searched before, but hey if this is what they have to do, what do I care. The guy seemed to enjoy it, took his sweet time, very thorough. I don't really care, but I imagine some people might have a bit of a problem with someone giving them a good head-to-toe rub down. Then I see the people behind me are not being searched, wtf? As long as it's the same for everyone, I don't very much care, but why did they single me out? At least 10 people passed through behind me with no searching. Well whatever, I wait for my luggage to come through, they're taking ages with it. Finally the lady holds up my bag, "whose is this?" It's mine. "Nederlands or English?" English. Then she mumbles something I don't understand. I stand there waiting, she's busy screening other bags. Wtf? After a while, a guy grabs my bag, walks up to me. "Could you open the bag please?" "You have a laptop in there?" "Yes, I do." "Can you take it out?" "Yes, I can." How courteous. I take out my laptop case. "Do you have scissors in there?" "No." I imagine at this point that as my bag came through, the lady who's screening them got a blinking red dialog box on her screen "scissors, 4 minutes to armageddon". I shouldn't have said it, but "actually I may have scissors elsewhere". I take out my pencil case, there are the scissors. The guy tells me I have to either check them in (bit too late for that, wise guy) or leave them. So they stole my scissors. Interestingly, the guy right in front of me also had scissors as part of a first aid kit and they let *him* take them on the plane. So I have to take out my laptop, they have to scan it again by itself. Apparently their scanner is so shitty they make people do this all the time now, yet another way to annoy us. So I get all my stuff scanned again, took about 20 minutes in all (not that I was in a rush, mind), finally it's all done.

All in all, I didn't really mind it, I had plenty of time and I was in a good mood. But then in Oslo they made take out my laptop *again* to scan separately (for some reason they can't reroute the luggage to domestic flights, you have to collect it and then check it in again *sigh*) and it got old fast. Still, I've never been given the detail treatment before and I don't know what set it off this time. I am certifiably Dutch and I'm white, I thought they only stopped Arab men with long beards?

:: random entries in this category ::

3 Responses to "white guy approaching, grab him!!!"

  1. Nawaf says:

    Welcome to our world

    -Arab (Not too hot on the beard tho )

  2. ash says:

    On my last plane trip I got singled out for a search in Manchester, on the way to America. Nothing on the way back though, although everyone had to put their shoes through the scanners. That was a first.

  3. erik says:

    I've been searched several times. Once the guy even stuck his hands down my pants to feel if I had anything between my body and the elastic waist-band of my boxers

    I've never had to open my bag though... I guess I look suspicious enough to be searched, but not so suspicious they wanna take a closer look at what's in my bag. Once I carried one of those shaving gel 'spray' bottles and correct me if I'm wrong; but from that little car wash they couldn't have seen if that was a bottle of tear gas, could they? Still, my bag stayed closed, they only searched me...

    I think they just get bored...