Sunday, November 23, 2014

Airport Security

Over the past 27 years I have been travelling overseas by plane at least once a year. I embarked on my first overseas flight when I was 8 weeks old and have never looked back. During these years I have watched the airport security evolve. In the humble beginnings of my flying life a bag scan and walking through a metal detector, sometimes with precautionary pat down was considered more than ample. However, step by step, scan by scan, under the hushed (or sometimes shouting) tone of 'preventing terrorism', these checks have become more and more intense. You can now also enjoy full body scans, bomb swabs, questioning and surrendering of your liquids and knitting needles with each overseas flight.

While I quietly feel that putting under 100ml of liquids in a clear bag and surrendering nail files is a touch ridiculous, I go along with it as much a the next person. Laughing at the fact that while airports in countries such as the UK and USA scrutinise everything from the flakes of your skin to the souvenir snow globe you just purchased, many airports in smaller countries don't really give a damn and sometimes don't even scan your carry on (let alone care about liquids).

On my most recent flight, however, leaving Stanstead, UK things went too far! I have reached my breaking point with this system. Let me tell you why. After my bag went through the scanner it was put to one side. After waiting a few minutes a friendly lady greeted me and promptly opened my bag and proceeded to dig through my dirty knickers (I was on my way home...). Confident it would just be my empty water bottle I chatted away with her, until she delivered a foul blow. An insult which will make Australians abroad cry. She extracted a brand new jar of Vegemite and then, announcing to me that it is classed as a liquid (has she ever even seen Vegemite???), she promptly threw it in the bin. I was shocked. I wanted to cry. She didn't even let me say goodbye, or taste its bitter salty flavor one last time. Does she know how was this jar of black gold is to find in the Northern Hemisphere? I promptly informed her that she has just saddened Australians worldwide.

I call to you now people. Enough is enough. Stop this ridiculousness! I know that no one understands Vegemite like Australians, and I know that English people think Marmite is better. But really, do they have to go so far as throwing out a brand new jar because it is a 'liquid'? And all to stop terrorism.... Really now, we have to be going too far.

End the reign of 'terror', stop convincing people to be afraid and let us keep our Vegemite!

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