Tuesday, 5 January 2010

What's next for travellers?


On December 25, 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab decided that he would take a walk on the wild side and attempt to blow himself and the rest of the passengers on that flight to Detroit to smithereens.

This is scary, yes, but what is scarier is the fact that we have to now endure MORE ridiculous security checks at the world's airports because of these nutters. When they came up with the liquid restrictions in carry-ons, my life was changed forever. My toiletries bag was usually my hand luggage. I had invested quite a bit of money in having a hip looking bag to load my dressing table into, and now with 90% of the stuff inside this bag being liquid-based, my travelling joys were over.

Then we were forced to partially disrobe in front of strangers and risk foot disease and fashion emergencies so we could be scanned for God knows what. Gone were the days one could wear cute lacey sandals or even flip flops, for now, you had to put your shoes in a dirty grey bin and your feet on ice cold, bacteria-infested floors. And if you're smart and wear socks, good luck if they stayed white after this atrocious exercise.

And to the men and maybe some women who previously forgot the old motherly advice of always wearing good underwear when going out, well, take that belt off, kids and hope your pants don't fall down and reveal the holey drawers you thought you could hide from the world.

Now, the Christmas bomber dude has gone a step further and transformed a normal, ordinary pair of boxers into an incendiary device, making life even more grotesque for the tired, annoyed, overworked, desperately-in-need of vacation traveller.

So no pee breaks within an hour of landing. No getting up at all. I wonder, what will they do if I REALLY have to go? Will the flight attendants body slam me to the floor and cuff me? If I need a stick of gum from my purse in the overhead locker, will I have to put my hand up and ask teacher for a pass? For the men and women whose laptops and PDAs are like a third palm, will they start cold sweating now that there is to be no lap action within an hour of landing? Will they themselves become terrorists as they endure withdrawal from keyboards and iPods?

And most importantly, will we now need to invest in good underwear so that when the inevitable happens - the ultimate disrobing, maybe in a back room, maybe in the public line, who knows! -  to check our drawers for explosives, we would not embarass ourselves and our mothers? AND...will Victoria's Secrets have more and more sales to offset this new development?

Thanks a lot Mr Man with the long, silly name, and thanks a lot TSA.

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