We love to travel. I had a deal with my wife, before we traveled, that if she got a driver’s license I would get a passport. Then I won a trip to England. I let her off the bargain. I needed a passport.
We went over to England. And this being my first trip we extended it to three weeks. The Nederlands, Amsterdam, and Germany were the first places we went. It was a beer trip. The first trip overseas, the last beer trip.
I once called my wife and asked “is $474 a good price to go to Italy?” I hung up the phone and booked a trip to Italy. She came home and explained, patiently, about the cost of flying from Portland to any European destination. I got into it. We never filled up our passports. But there were a lot of stamps in them.
When I had a federal screening for security, I had to dig out my expired passport to figure out where I had been over the prior 10 years. It was fun. Reliving trips, I asked the federal agent “Why?” They lamely said “maybe trafficking”, yeah right.
But there was a time when every trip we had to wait for our bags to emerge from bag claim. Every time. We were “randomly” chosen for inspection. We were in our 40s and 50s on trips always to a different part of the world. Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Spain again, Bali, China, more Mexico.
What signaled that we needed to have our luggage checked? I wondered aloud if it might be due to her luggage. She had found a deal on a bag with rollers at Ross’s. No, she countered, they can’t be that dumb. But it happened every time. But it was Always. Always! ALWAYS! She gave away the luggage and bought something else. It just wasn’t worth it. And boom! It was for quite awhile the end of our “random” selection.
But really, can they be that stupid? To always screen luggage with a brand name of “Smuggler”?
It was the last time.
— MichaelRpdx :: ih3k