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Double shot of travel sickness

Now, I’m not going to get into the politics of the new airport, but kudos for getting it done.

Sure, I miss the old building. It was quaint; I remember standing with my father on the balcony, being able to shout “welcome” to family members and friends as they walked off the plane when they arrived.

In those days, people would dress up to travel: men in suits and ties with a fedora and the trilby hat, looking very debonair; women in dresses, hats and gloves with oversized sunglasses. Today, people get off planes and have that sort of Boris Johnson lived-in look, as if they’ve just rolled out of bed.

A few of us aren’t entirely used to how things are done now. For instance, it took me some time to figure out that when you check in, they take your bag from you; in the old days, you would take your bag with you after you check in and carry it through US Customs. As I watched my bag going down the conveyor belt, I asked the agent: “Where do I get my bag?” She replied: “On the other side.” Getting a little flustered, I said: “The other side of what?” My know-it-all wife had to get her two cents in: “We pick it up when we arrive, you horse’s arse!”

OK, so I was a little slow on the uptake. However, from what I witnessed next, I knew this person was not on any frequent flyer programme. Approaching security, we were greeted by a very polite young man checking our passport and boarding pass, when I heard an eruption of laughter — not that I’m pokey or anything, unlike my wife, but I had to bend my head a bit to see what was happening. I witnessed what I can describe only as what I was sure was going to be the highlight of my flight.

Looking past the carry-on luggage X-ray machine, a young woman had entered the body scanner — the one that looks like it’s out of a Star Trek movie — and not knowing precisely what to do, she assumed a unique position, not like the illustration describes of feet apart with arms up above your head. Oh no! My girl had assumed the position that you would see after a high-speed car chase. Legs apart, hands on the glass, waiting to be patted down by the cops.

After watching the security officer compose himself and explain to her how to stand, the poor girl now looked embarrassed and flustered. We went through to US Immigration, and after being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned, I was presented with a picture of my suitcase. “Is this your suitcase, Sir?” I went into complete defence mode: “Blame her,” pointing to my wife. “She said I didn’t have to pick it up till I got to the other side.” “She’s just checking that it’s your suitcase, you old fool!” my wife blurted out.

Right, I need a drink. I left the battle-axe at the bottom of the stairs, as she fought with her carry-on luggage, and made a beeline for the bar. “Double Scotch on the rocks, please.” When I was told the price, I replied that I didn’t want to by the bottle just a double. Next time, I’m hitting the duty-free first and uncorking the bottle in the bathroom!

Just as I finished the most expensive drink I’ve ever paid for, I noticed the wife still battling with her carry-on; she looked flustered, hot and disagreeable. This is not going to be a pleasant trip. “Another double Scotch, please.”

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Published August 09, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated August 09, 2023 at 7:23 am)

Double shot of travel sickness

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