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Nels Swenson | all galleries >> Galleries >> Travel Stories > Flight Prep
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Flight Prep

A security attendant looked at Adamís US citizen born in Iraq passport and pulled us out of line. The attendant questioned us together and then questioned us separately. Luckily we went with the truth that I was in town to pick up Adam, my indentured servant. Actually, we told them that we had never seen each other, just happened to be the only Americans on the Israel to Cairo flight and by coincidence work for the same company and have matching hotel receipts. Either of those stories may have expedited the search process. They found out from Adam that yes, it is possible that America declared war on Iraq twice in the last twelve years yet allow U.S. citizens born in Iraq to remain U.S. citizens.

The questions I was asked were easy to answer. ďYes, we work together, No, I donít know anyone in Israel beyond my co-workers. No, I didnít go into the West Bank and Iím offended that you insult my intelligence and question my sanity by asking me such a question!Ē

Adamís interrogation lasted another fifteen minutes. I let the whirlwind of the past week set in and began reading about Egypt until it was time to check our bags.

After the third time through the x-ray machine, my bags were emptied for two levels of security officers to inspect. Tourists and their belongings endured this process along with me. Security even dug a piece of lint out of my computer case, placed it under the metal detector wand then though a machine that checks for explosives. I cringed as they unpacked breakable souvenirs protected strategically between books and clothes Telling made up stories to the security girls passed the time while each of my belongings was removed from my bag. When I ran out of stories I began to ask them personal questions as I thought it only proper to get to know these girls handling my underwear.

The inspection continued. Ten minutes after Adam left for the gate, a Sinai Air employee who announced she would not be checking any more bags to Cairo. Our flight time approached.

One member of the souvenir search squad helped me pack up my belongings. She rushed me to another part of the airport where we deposited my luggage with oversized baggage for my flight. She led me through the airport to my gate. I was dumbfounded to see that if I had not been escorted I would have been subjected to another round of screening.

I joined Adam at the gate with plenty of time to board. It was a bus and not a plane that we boarded. The bus took us to the runway to reclaim our luggage. As a security precaution we would have to identify our belongings in order for them to be placed on the plane.

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