Well, the computer is so slow today, I thought I might lose my thoughts waiting for everything to wake up. Perhaps I was trying to do so myself as I peeled back the warmth of the large pink comforter — staying in the kid’s bunk room at Ali’s Auntie Gillian’s – down from the nape of my neck. The chill of a Scotland Spring air creeps in around any part of my body where the skin is exposed. I pull a large sweater over my head and climb down the ladder toward the floor, one step at a time. Ali’s snores rise from the bunk below, intoxicating the air in the room with left over pints of beer breath from last night’s Stag night out. Stumbling in at 3 am full of “I love you’s” and “you are prettier than all the other girls” rolling off his tongue one after the other. Then I could sleep soundly.
I slip into my own world, one speaker into each earlobe, passing back into the past with some Mobius Mix from the All for Peace station out of both Jerusalem and Ramallah. And I recall getting out of Israel-Palestine…
We nearly made it through with an all clear signal, the blue sticker, when just as we went through the x-ray machines, the blue sticker got replaced with a red one. Now for me, I see blue as serene, like the sky on a sunny summer day. Red tends to have a more negative effect, that of WARNING. So when I questioned this change, I wasn’t surprised by the lies: “for airline purposes” Yeah right. That’s when the fun began.
We made it through Israeli security after I stood chatting up the gal who looked through everything from my undies to my wooden map of “Israel” with all the towns marked with the Arab names, aka PALESTINE. She browsed through our Arab music and asked about our Israeli titles, I assured her those were burned onto the computer. I tried to make up some excuse about languages when she saw the wooden map, but she was having none of it, “It’s ok, I understand.” Overall, those checking our bags and running a metal detector over our bodies were quite nice. They didn’t ask us many questions; there was no interrogation session such as the one when entering and leaving Egypt previously. They even invited us to come back to visit again!
We made it with an escort to the passport control where we were soon surrounded by a couple of security gals. A few more questions and then we were sent to wait some more. After being taken to a stark white inspection room, they took our hand luggage and decided to send most of it beneath the plane, and re-checked, with a bomb sweeper device, everything else. No problem. Until they took my computer. It would be wrapped and placed under the plane. I was not happy and I let them know. In fact, you could say I was quite pissed. But it wasn’t Security who was doing it, it was Border Control, so I should feel better. Right. Then we were brushed again with a metal detector, but this time I had to take my bra off and drop my pants to my knees. That was somewhat degrading and it was quite unnecessary. But really, you just have to laugh at their paranoia. What else could I do? I was happy I didn’t wear those undies that have a hole in the front. Or any other creative ones.
After taking every little piece out of my carry on, items scattered across the counter, they had the nerve to ask whether I would like them to repack my bag or do it myself. I am sure they had their own laugh with my indignant insistence that they do it themselves, after all, they had dismantled it. And then with one more escort we were taken to the edge, where we had to run to catch our plane. Once on, sinking into British Airways posh chairs, surrounded by British accents, the last three hours seemed to melt away as we made the transition back into the Western world.