Wednesday, February 2, 2011
What torture is
I've been tortured many times. During my service to MI5 as an ultraspy™, I was frequently captured (on purpose) by the enemy, and just before I used Karate to kill them all, I was tortured for information. I've been waterboarded, stabbed, had my head cut off and reattached backwards, forced to watch Glee, forced to read entertainment news...
None of that compared to my flight(s) back from Africa.
My flight out of Kilimanjaro airport was at 10pm. I arrived at the airport a bit too early, around 7:30pm. At the entrance of the airport was a security screening process... the first of many. So, before I could even enter the airport, I had to go through a metal detector and put my bags through an x-ray machine. And so I did. The woman behind the x-ray machine wasn't even watching the computer to see what was coming through, and I'm not 100% the metal detector worked. Fantastic security. Then, I was treated to the beginning of a long line for check-in.
I skipped THE HELL out of that line. Why? Because I already had my boarding pass and I wasn't checking bags. I was the ONLY person on this flight that was in that particular category of excellence. So I went over to passport control where they stamp your passport with a departure stamp. Also a first. The guy there was like "Nahh come back later, I'm too busy swatting at flies". So I went shopping. I noticed that everyone had a yellow tag on their carry on. I started to get nervous because I didn't have one. I was the only person who didn't check-in at the counter when I arrived at the airport. So, just to be safe, I went to the counter while there was no line. The guy printed a boarding pass for me, then weighed my carry on bags. Big mistake. My carry on bag was 18kg... and there was some kind of carry on limit of 12kg. What the hell? I had never ever had my carry on bags weighed, not on no international trip and certainly not on no domestic trip. I said "what the hell man, my crappy Del laptop weights like 10kg in and of itself..."
The man was very nice. He said "ahhhh ok, I will not say anything". But he never gave me a yellow tag. So I never needed it, and the boarding pass I printed at home was valid. Well, you learn something new everyday. Which is an incredibly cliché thing to say. So in response, I remind you that I ultralearn™ where normal people just regularlearn™, so... yeah.
About 20 minutes later I came back and had my passport stamped. Then, I needed to pass through a SECOND security checkpoint just to get to the gate to wait for the aeroplane.
Now, this whole trip I had a small interchangeable screw driver in my bag, and I never had a problem with it. I pass through the second security checkpoint without a problem. Just remember that, it becomes relevant later.
The giant KLM jet arrives and it is finally time to board. I was tired, and sick, and not looking forward to a red-eye. But man... I just wanted to get home.
As I had mentioned before, I bought a seat upgrade to 'economy comfort' which provides one Angstrom of additional leg room for 130 EUROS. Excellent use of money. The guy sitting in front of me proceeded to put his seat down, for the entire 9 hour flight. Never once letting it up. And on top of that, some burly Dutch guy sat next to me, constantly rubbing his gross man-arm against my extraordinarily muscular frame. Due to my glorious size, I am wider than an economy seat. So unless I am sitting next to a tiny little girl, or something, I always have to deal with coming into physical contact with any person sitting next to me. On a 9 hour flight, when you are sick, with a dickface in front of you, and an irritating Dutch man speaking Dutch to his Dutch friend right next to him, the whole time.... all you want to do is DIE. By the way, Dutch is not a pretty, soft language. Its harsh and highly irritating to listen to when you're trying to sleep. I took two Valiums and managed to pass out for 3 or 4 hours. The rest of the time I either tried to read, or watch some movie I had downloaded on my iPhone. After 9 hours, we landed in Amsterdam. I had made it through the first round of torture.
Stay tuned to hear the rest!