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#63 Airport Horror Stories

June 10, 2011

Submitted by Madhatter in the ‘Bad

Handy Qantas warning

No EAW dinner party or illicit drinking session is complete without an exotic tropical disease story and its companion piece, the airport horror story. Whatever this genre lacks in the sheer terror stakes of the ‘armed militia roadblock’ canon, it more than makes up for with its ample scope for comedic retelling and ‘confirmability’ by others who have been through the same airport (but not, of course, had the once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ve had).

The key to successful delivery of an airport horror story is to tell it with the resigned air of one who has ‘seen it all’ and considers the time you had your unwashed unmentionables strewn across the floor in Karachi while simultaneously being threatened with a cavity search, imprisonment for blasphemy and immediate deportation as nothing more than an amusing anecdote on par with a drinking story from that supposedly ‘dry’ country (more on that later).

Your story must, of course, be more inconvenient, more scary (not that you should admit being scared) and more righteous indignation-causing than the stories of those whose company you’re sharing; women EAWs have a distinct advantage in this respect as the ‘down to the tampons’-level luggage inspection followed by overly enthusiastic body search and temporary detainment will beat a ‘heated argument and threat of imprisonment’ story by a male EAW any day.

Where possible, EAWs should gracefully weave a token bribery moment  into their story, demonstrating their local nous and survival skills. Airport horror stories also provide the perfect opportunity to segue seamlessly to or from a passport stamp story, especially when it involves actual or threatened confiscation of said passport.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    June 10, 2011 1:24 pm

    Hm – I thought that ever since we have the TSA and nude scanners everyone be it EAW or not has their airport horror stories, like that one time when the guy from the TSA told me to… ahhh – I see what is happening here ;-)

    (In all seriousness, the war on terror has made flying in and from/to the US pretty much the the worst airport experience you could possibly imagine. Even my 12 hours of wait in a container in Lungi Airport (Sierra Leone) were not as bad as my last LAX, JFK and EWR experiences….)

  2. Tracy permalink
    June 16, 2011 10:09 am

    Agree with Anna. My uncomfortable delays at airports in Kathmandu, Lusaka, etc. were nothing compared to the frustrations in Miami and Dulles.

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