Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Did you forget something?

These posts won't always be in chronological order - more based on whim - but the first one actually starts with the very first picture we took.

The Mr. and I were sitting in the Frankfurt airport. We had arrived far too early and were burning time in a restaurant that overlooked the check-in area. We were both enjoying one last German beer and our first bowel of Asia noodles.

About a half of an hour after we sat down, I looked down at the check-in area and noticed a slightly nervous airline employee examining a luggage trolley with one, lonely bag sitting on top of it. It was obvious from the start that both the trolley and the bag didn't belong to anyone standing near them.

I doubt I need to explain to my dear readers how chilling the view of an unattended bag can be these days. In most countries I assume the reaction would be rather alarmed and emotionally extreme with SWAT teams, bomb guards, and weeping public members. Did I mention this was all taking place in front of the Saudi owned Emirates* check-in?

Instead, in the Frankfurt airport, peace and order were upheld. The slightly nervous airline employee rang some sort of very discrete alarm. That was followed by three German police officers casually, yet immediately, arriving and gently creating more space around the trolley and bag. Within the next five minutes the entire public was gently, calmly cleared from the space as officers cordoned off the explosion area with magical red and white tape** that very few were willing to challenge.

Frankfurt, one of the busiest airports in the world, looked like this in a matter of mere minutes:

The Mr. and I watched with growing respect and a twinge of alarm. We were sitting up and away, protected by glass and like a car accident, it was just too interesting to turn away. Below the numerous passengers who needed to check in for their flight also seemed to be under the same trance.

The police and then the security guards were obviously waiting for the next level of escalation. Thankfully, that escalation level was never needed because after 15 minutes a rather portly man in a dark red shirt and a jacket called attention to himself. After some discussion, he was permitted to stroll up and then claim the suspect trolley and bag. His identity was checked, the bag was checked, and he was most likely given some sort of talking to. Maybe in English. The policy broke the magic seal and the public flooded into the check-in lines.

Like a small stream of smoke on a winding day, the magical, scary moment was gone. We paid our bill and walked to our gate. New Zealand was waiting for us!

*by the way, Emirates is the best air company I have ever flown with. Forget the free market and those crappy American companies - bring on state supported air travel!
** the magic red and white looks like this. Fascinating the power held by such a simple material.

1 comment:

MrsJ said...

Wow! That is really cool that the two of you got to see the process of it. Glad that everything worked out well in the end =]

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