‘People who say they have a fear of flying don’t really have a fear of flying. What they fear is being two miles above the earth and suddenly NOT flying’ – Bob Monkhouse
You might have thought that travel would become less stressful, cause us less hassle, but I have found that not to be the case.
Self-check-in is great if you are going away with just a carry-on bag but I am already anticipating the queues for the ‘fast drop’ for our hold luggage. As everyone checks in online, everyone has to use ‘fast drop’ for their big luggage which, let’s face it, that’s everyone on a long-haul flight.
Then there are the endless stupid questions.
‘Has anybody tampered with your bags unbeknown to you?’ Well, I wouldn’t know, would I?
As much as I allow myself to get wound up, however, it is still very much worth it.
Travel, for me, is largely about photography. Not the sensible use of a truly awesome mobile phone with its built-in camera, but those old-fashioned compact cameras and the even more old-fashioned DSLR with endless peripherals: lenses, tripods, chargers, cards readers, external hard drives.
Hence a 30lb carry-on rucksack carefully packed with cameras and just enough space for a folding toothbrush.
Predicted conversations at the security desk.
‘What do we have here, sir?’
‘A camera bag.’
‘And what’s in it?’
‘Gosh, how many cameras have you packed?’
‘You sound like my wife… Five actually.’
‘May we take each and every single piece out of its cosy little padded aperture?’
‘Do I have a choice?’
Ten minutes later, I am handed a plastic tray and what looks like a shite example of modern art ‘Explosion in a Camera Bag’ and while I have been waiting I have been playing the guessing game. Shoes on? Shoes off? Belt on? Belt off? No point trying to predict this one – whatever I choose, I will be wrong. Don’t get me started about the arbitrary nature of airport security.
100 ml of shampoo in a clear 200 ml bottle… not allowed. What do they think I will do? Shampoo the pilot?
And you know that resistance is futile. The security people had their sense of humour removed during their induction training and if you happen to upset them they can just make a theatrical performance of putting on the rubber glove that goes up to their elbow.
Really, it’s the only thing that will keep me silent as I get through security tomorrow.