First, I just want to apologise to Andy (a regular reader of my other blog) who couldn't comment on this blog. This has now been fixed.
It has been 3 days since I landed in the UK from my holiday in Gran Canaria, and I wanted to write a short piece about how airports make me feel. And more importantly, how location plays a role in how I feel.
When I left the UK, I had to put all my things in a plastic tray, have them scanned, and then be patted down to make sure I had nothing dangerous on me. Now, this wasn't helped by the fact that the two men at security both looked angry, which doesn't put me at ease, because I immediately think I've done something wrong, which I know I haven't. And I hate the pat downs, because it's someone I don't know touching me. A lot. And I can't complain about it because otherwise they will think I am guilty of something. I really don't like going through the UK security checks because of these things. Also, they wanted to check the soles of my shoes, which meant me standing on one leg, which I can't do very well.
Now, in Gran Canaria (A Spanish owned island) things are different. We had to queue for plastic trays to put our things in, but I forgot that, and put my bag in it. The security woman told me very calmly and nicely that it wasn't for my bag, it was for my watch, and anything in my pocket. When it came to checking my stuff, they didn't even get angry when my friend's coat got stuck in the rollers, instead they helped him. The whole thing made me feel totally at ease, whilst still making me feel secure.
Their checks were no less thorough than in the UK, they still metal dectected us, but instead of pat downs, they used handheld metal detectors. And instead of looking angry, they were helpful. I didn't feel scared, or worried, or nervous in Gran Canaria, but the UK immediately makes you feel scared that maybe they'll think you're a terrorist because of something you might unconsciously do.