Monday, December 15, 2008

Poked and podded

I am pretty much used to the amped-up safety measures that US airports have been taking since 9/11, but this time on my way permanently out of the US to Canada, Tulsa really outdid itself. I was asked to step into this giant white pod where a green and a yellow vertical scanner whooshed around me. I think they exposed me to Gamma rays so it's probably a good thing I didn't lose my temper or I would've ripped my favourite jeans. It's such a pain finding the perfect pair of pants.

After that, my handbags were swabbed for explosives, toxic chemicals, and other unpleasant inconveniences. I had an English and also the original Arabic copy of the Quran stashed in one of those bags, and as the security officer proceeded to empty out the contents of it, I began to think that maybe carrying not one but two copies of the Quran was not such a great idea. The Arabic copy was wrapped in pretty cloth and the security officer somewhat innocently asked me before unwrapping it if it was a portable DVD player. I said no, that it was a book. Seeing him pause, I added, "a holy book". I felt nervous. The officer unwrapped the Quran and swabbed it also.

Seeing my childhood copy of the Quran get swabbed for...anything really, was kind of surreal. Right next to my getting scanned in a pod. Beam me outta here, Scotty.

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