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FuIl Body Search

Well, I arrived at the airport 2 and 1/2 hours early to avoid any delays.  This was good thinking from months ago as I was overweight and wanted to leave some things behind with my girls if I needed to unload some things that (back in December) I thought I would not be able to live without!  That part went well…as I had to shed 2 lbs from what I thought was a 70 lb bag.  Okay…now we are inside the airport and going through the “do you have all your paperwork so we can send you back home if you don’t and you’ll have to go through all this again” process.  Good.  All paper work in order but the luggage  has to be rearranged as the bag which I thought I was going to use as a purse did not pass and my computer bag was already full.  So, off to the side we go to try putting all that was in the so-called purse into the carry-on and my computer bag.  But, SURPRISE! only half fits and my prized possessions have to go back home with my girls.

Now, we are at the final phase of the traveling abroad ritual — saying farewell…HUGS…KISSES…more HUGS…KISSES…WAVING…BYE…I LOVE YOU! BE GOOD!

Now for the part that every traveler loves…security check.  Show your paper work…ok good…take your shoes off and put them in a basket with your purse and take your computer out of its case and put it and your phone in another basket and of course, any liquids must be in a plastic bag and in another basket.  Now,  lift up the remainder of whatever you have up onto the conveyor belt and step forward and put your feet in those two yellow feet in this x-ray like full-body scanner while you hold your hands up over your head.  Now, last time I traveled on a plane — remember to Florida in December and January, that was the end of the process.  But, of course, not today.

Let me go back a little ways…I have a girlfriend who has written a book about overseas travel and I asked her a question about money/document belt — if I can put it on before I board the plane.  She said “Oh, no problem…you’ll be fine.”  NOOOOOOOO, that is not fine!  They saw the belt in the scan and asked me to step aside and what was that I had on under my clothes?  A money/document belt…I told them.  “We will have to do a full body search.  Stand here…we have to go to the room over there.”  So, after taking the belt off in front of the two female security persons, which one of them inspected, they told me that they would still have to proceed with the full body search.  So, I proceeded to transition myself mentally to “doctor’s office mode.”  Ladies, this works well otherwise it might feel like an invasion of your personal space.  But, over all, it was not bad.  They were nice ladies and I was a cooperative citizen.

Once back in my clothes, I gathered up all my belongings which were now in quite a mess from the perfect packing I thought I had done over the weeks, I was on my way down to wait at the boarding gate with all the other happy travelers.

More on my trip to Africa soon…we’ve only just begun.

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