HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

World globe Home – finally. Traffic to the airport was intense due to several accidents on the freeway and a soccer match. It was a long ride to the airport with the usual mechanical ballet of car movement with clearance only by inches.

The South American airports have a number of stands where the machine wraps your suitcase with layers of plastic wrap. I have seen a lot of people get their luggage wrapped and always assumed it was to protect the bag from damage. Our hotel, however, had a notice that they recommended wrapping your bag at the airport for security reasons. We asked the desk about it and they said it was a good idea, so we paid forty dollars to wrap our four bags. They cut a slot for the handle and wheels, but it is otherwise a plastic bubble. When we got home we found security had cut the wrap to inspect both of Lita's bags but nothing was taken. Now I know what the wrapping stations are for.

Lita had purchased a leather coat because the price was so favorable. In fact, they made the coat in twenty four hours in order to make the sale. So she had a vat tax refund. Countries make it as difficult as they can to get refund. We had to go to a desk on the first floor and get a form stamped. Then find another desk on the second floor. There was a line. Three young women inside the booth. Two were chatting and laughing, but had the window closed. the third was handling the line and it was moving slowly, but finally we got that taken care of  and went on to security.

Security clearance in South Amercia is the good news. It's a wink and a nod for me to get through security even though I set off the alarm in every airport due to my two knees and one hip replacements. I just point to my knees and they virtually wave me through. In the U.S. it is always an ordeal to get through security which takes time. In a place like Spokane, for some reason, I always have the worst experience. Hostile attitudes, slow and deliberate examination that is always noticeable longer then any other airports by TSA people.  

In Dallas, at security, they have the full body scan which I assumed would be really quick, but no. First of all, a middle aged, short woman TSA officer person asked me if I had anything in my pocket when the alarm went off. I explained I had artificial joints and had nothing that would set the alarm off. With a stern voice she insisted knowing if I had anything in my pocket. I pulled out a boarding pass and pointed out it was paper. She ordered me to give it to her, all without a smile or explanation. Next, I had to step inside a both while this woman gave me orders like drill sargent to put my feet on painted footprints and raise my arms over my head while the scan takes place. Then I was ordered to put my feet in the other direction on two other painted foot prints and hold my arms down and the scan was repeated. I assumed I was done, but security person blocked my exit while talking into microphone rather secretively. I asked her if I could go. She ignored me and kept saying things like: "his shirt has a logo, he has a crew cut …" etc. Finally, I said, you know I prefer a hand scan it is a lot quicker and I want out of this booth, but she said she was waiting for clearance and had to wait. Finally, I was allowed to get out of the  booth. This process took longer then the electronic device and pat down I usually go through. As to the microphone, aApparently, she was talking to someone in another place where the scan was being viewed on a monitor. Why the delay? How, complicated can it be to see I had no medal except joints on me? Why would she give them my description? What a joke.  Why are so many of these TSA on a police power trip anyway? It's so refreshing to find friendly TSA people at security checks. The next time I come across one of those body scan machines I'm going to choose the option not to use it.

It's a ten hour flight from Buenos Aires to Dallas. We had to leave for the airport early enough to allow for traffic, check in and security so that meant getting there at least two hours early. Then the ten hour flight. Next the layover in Dallas of a couple of hours and then a four and half hour flight home. That amounts to nearly fifteen hours of flying time. Europe is a lot closer. There is a five hour time difference so we arrived at 11:00 am from a night departure in Buenos Aires, very tired. But, strangely enough, not with the jet lag we have returning from Europe. Perhaps there is something different about North and South flight time changes.

The next morning I had to be up at 5:00 am to travel to Seattle where I was giving a talk at a seminar at 8:30 am. Then I had to come back the same evening to present an award to my partner at dinner. I napped in between those events.

I finally got the mail read, bills paid and unpacked. I'm glad we saw South America. I was very impressed with the beauty and culture as well as the prices in Buenos Aires. I'm sorry it is so far away as I would like to go back. But, I am very glad we are home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.