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You’re not in Rome anymore, so back off Jacko!

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On October - 30 - 2007

It’s cliché but flying is a nightmare and hell if you are flying overseas. While flying home from Italy on Monday I was subjected to more checks and pat downs than a prison inmate. How many times within a 10-foot radius must I show my passport and boarding card? In Italy from check-in to actually boarding the flight I had to show my passport and boarding card six times!!! Why, I have no idea since I just showed to someone two feet away. This redundancy is fruitless and stupid. But let’s face it the reason this is all done is to justify a government jobs program — this is Europe after all.

After a week of being pushed and shoved in Europe I was in no mood to be pushed and shoved in lines at home.  Most Americans are quite good about giving space in line – so it comes as no surprise when Europeans come to the U.S. old habits die hard. Such was the case of an Italian couple standing behind me while going through TSA screening at Philadelphia International Airport. I needed several kitty litter sized boxes to put my laptop, shoes, coat, bag of liquids, and then I had to lift up my wheelie bag. The couple started putting their objects on the X-ray belt before I had a chance to put all my items together. Normally I am a patient person, but I politely said you need to give me room. It didn’t translate, they kept pushing me and I finally lost it and shouted – “Back off Jacko,” which they understood. The TSA agent actually showed emotion and laughed. I reminded the couple that since they are in the U.S. there is no need to shove and elbow your way around. We have plenty of room here. I also said if you do this to someone else who is not as nice as me you’re likely to get cursed at or worse.

It’s nice to be home and have some elbow room.

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