I shortened my sights a bit. Didn’t find a Buddha under the Christmas tree-ish dried floral arrangement thing in our room, and decided I’d be happy if all I got for Christmas was not a case of head lice. (So far so good. I think.) But I still may buy one for myself before we leave.
Looks like our return flights are going to be even more inconvenient with all the additional security measures. We came over with five carry-ons, but I’m guessing it’ll be easier just to check the whole lot on the way back. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for creating an international incident when airport security discovers Elle’s Crayola Explosion Glow Board in our hand-luggage. I’ll keep my laptop with me of course, and if I end up with a hefty but fragile wooden icon, I’ll keep that with me as well, although I’m not sure if that additional attention will be a good or bad thing. I’m pretty sure Aussie law enforcement would shrug off charges of politically incorrect racial profiling (ya gotta start somewhere, mate), so will I slide through as an obvious non-Muslim or receive extra scrutiny for my potential decoy? And if I get on the plane without any challenges, will I then just incense any onboard fundamentalists?
Generally I am not afraid to fly. There has been only one really bad landing in my lifetime of travel (wind shear slamming us down with a nice little sideways slide down a rainy runway in New Orleans) and I have reconciled myself to the fact that if I survive a mid-Pacific crash, no help will arrive until long after I’ve been devoured by sharks. I’m okay with that. But now I have kids to worry about. And crazies. And I don’t like the fact that Jorge changed his departure and is leaving earlier, because when we reach Los Angeles we split up: Grice flies with me to Miami, and Sarabelle and Elle, who were meant to be accompanied by their father, fly on a different airline back to Fort Lauderdale. Now I’ll be sticking the two of them on a plane by themselves and hoping they’ll be in Miami with their dad to greet me and Grice after the cross-country leg of our trip. Can I request they be seated next to the secret (wink wink) air marshall?
I like to test the TSA employees, see if they’re on their toes or not, by traveling with little surprises. Among other things, I’ve taken a box cutter disguised as a key on a keyring several times without notice and flew over here this time with a long, sharp bamboo stick holding my hair up in a knot. Bought a second hair clip at the same shop that sells the Buddhas after I misplaced the first, then relocated the original so now I have two. Sarabelle looks good with her hair up. I would probably not be the passenger to jump up and subdue a would-be terrorist, but I’d be happy to be able to pass the braver passengers a little something to help out.
Oh, yeah, and if I have to go to the bathroom, just try and stop me.
Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.
-- Benjamin Franklin