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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh pussy cat pussy cat where have you been?

I'm home, cat in lap, coffee in hand, wistfully recalling what it was like to not have any fur on my clothing while wandering with my love through new sights and sounds with no work and delicious food. Once I download our nearly 1000 photos, I'll take some time to blurb a bit about our 10 day 10th anniversary holiday. Catching up with grapecat was truly wonderful... Truly.

Strangely enough, having just flown home late last night from our glorious holiday over the ocean, visiting the wonderful grapecat in her roundel, as well as Paris, Canterbury, Dover and London, I have been struck with the utter paranoia of the United States of America, adding a bit of a sour note to the end of an otherwise deliriously wonderful trip. Not really considering it, we booked our flights with Delta (bleh) which flew direct from home through Minneapolis international airport on the way to and back from the Heathrow airport in the UK. Even though we were in the US only long enough to buy a bit of coffee or a pint and munchables on our way through and back, we had to disembark, get scanned, get our luggage, go through customs (where they can open our luggage and look through it for "our safety" even though we are not actually staying there), get scanned again, put our luggage on for the connecting flight (where they can randomly rifle through your luggage again for whatever reason they feel like)...before we could possibly get scanned *again* and then wander around an airport a bit and reboard to get on with our trip. On our way back I took of my boots 3 times. 3 bloody times.
Thankfully we dressed up a bit for our flights and were our most politely unoffensive white little selves and were relatively unaccosted. Anyone who appeared shaggy or mistrusting, or sadly, of middle eastern descent, seemed to get their fingerprints or retinas scanned or have a full body inspection experience...I wouldn't want to have to get into those new full body scanners....I can't be convinced they're safe.
Heathrow airport where they have actually *had* bombings...*they*were not this paranoid, and just did what was needed without feeling so terribly opressive. Paris? Ditto. Canada? Downright polite and helpful, I must smugly report.
Perhaps I was just tired and tetchy as it was about 3 AM UK time when we passed thru customs towards a few hour wait before we could fly on home, but I must say....the US has a wee bit too much paranoia on it's hands. Like it's feeding on itself...I don't think I'll travel through the US again if I can help it. Just a bit too creepy.

Oh Canada, you make me love you more and more whenever I go away :)

5 comments:

Captain Chlorophyll said...

Welcome home! And I'd like to add that not everyone in America is responsible for the travesty that we have become.

Pacian said...

Obviously you just don't love freedom.

Sho said...

I just found your blog - interesting comment about the checking, rechecking and re-rechecking in the States. Having grown up in the UK in the 70s (there were lots of bombs) I can relate to a country taking precautions.

That level of overkill, I feel, is a whole other level, unfortunately.

the Bag Lady said...

Glad you are home! We are going to the States in Sept., but are driving, so hopefully won't have quite as much trouble with customs. On the other hand, they may decide they have to take our vehicle apart to make sure we aren't smuggling terrorists.........

Captain Chlorophyll said...

...or prescription drugs.