Friday, January 21, 2011


In November I went to Madrid for a weekend. At each airport we passed through airport security without problems. Except at Gatwick, which we only ended up at because of the weather. I bleeped when walking through the x-ray, and the security lady flagged up my handbag as containing something suspicious.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am dreadfully untrustworthy. However, people who don't know me usually can't tell. I suspect that this is why I only got stopped once on our trip. Not that I'm a terrorist, just that I'm your average, middle-class, white girl, so I don't even look like a terrorist.

I permitted the security lady to search me (I have no idea what would have happened if I'd refused the search. Probably something violent). When she was certain I didn't have a knife in my boot or a dynamite belt around my waist she let me pass.

I permitted the security gentleman to search my handbag. I promised him it contained no needles or anything else sharp or dangerous. He removed all my electronic equipment and scanned it. I'm a geek, that was a lot of stuff, it felt like it took an age. He then removed my book, which contained this:

That's my bookmark. It is metal, and hooked, and I suppose a bit suspicious if you haven't seen one before. Although the person who flagged it had not, the gentleman searching my handbag had.

I had a bit of a Moment. I thought he was going to confiscate it. That was fine, if he did so I'd probably be allowed on the plane and I'd get home. I wasn't worried about that, I had a much greater concern.

"Ah, sorry. Um, would you mind if I just checked my page number?"

He cocked an eyebrow.

"You're not dangerous."

He took the bookmark to show to the lady behind the desk. He brought it back and carefully inserted into the book at the correct page. He chuckled, and sent me on my way.

Nick, exasperated, commented that this is why I should just use a bit of card like everyone else. Card isn't nearly so pretty, but I may consider using it for future flights.

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