Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I didn't plan to write about this here, because this blog is about Cameroon, and it happened on the trip back from Ecuador earlier this month. But my friend Char pleaded with me to do so. (She loves it when I humiliate myself.) So just to remind her that I am not proud:
On the day I left Quito, I woke up at 3 am with a splitting headache and couldn't get back to sleep, so by the time I reached Miami, I was very tired. (That's the excuse. I'm a little proud.) This was just prior to the tenth anniversary of 9/11 so security was tight, and the lines were the longest and slowest I've ever seen. It took me over an hour to get through customs to where you recheck your bag. When I saw the baggage check guy, I stopped cold and exclaimed, "I forgot to get my suitcase!" He was surprised, but he found an airline employee to go back through security with me. We elbowed our way through the crowd, and when we got to the baggage carrousel I said, "Oh, no! I just remembered that I didn't check a bag! I came with just my carry-on." She gave me a long look, gestured toward customs and said, "You'll have to tell it to them." So we stood in line – wouldn't you know that she would pick the same one I had been in before? When I finally got up to the agent, he screwed his face up and said, "Didn't you come through here already?" I told him my story, and he looked at me for a long time, without smiling. Finally he said, "Follow the red line." (That's where the people go whom they believe to be lying or smuggling or whatever it is that they think.) Another line, another unsmiling agent (Who trains these people?) who scrutinized me, then waved me through. Finally I was back to the airline employee (where the whole thing began. When he saw me coming, he called out, "Where's your suitcase?"
Me: I don't have one.
Him: Oh, no – they lost it?
Me: No, I mean I never had one. I didn't check a bag on this trip.
Him: What? You mean…
And then he laughed, which was what I had hoped all of those other people would do.

6 comments:

  1. Nancy, I'm anaonymous somehow. :-) Patricia Purvis

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nancy, I'm anaonymous somehow. :-) Patricia Purvis

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nancy, I'm anaonymous somehow. :-) Patricia Purvis

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nancy, I'm anaonymous somehow. :-) Patricia Purvis

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nancy, I'm anaonymous somehow. :-) Patricia Purvis

    ReplyDelete