If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, you are probably no stranger to having various bits of your anatomy replaced at one time or another and all of these will set the alarm bells ringing when you pass through Security at an airport. When I first had surgery to replace a hip, the hospital gave me a letter stating this fact. I still have it, and to date no-one has asked to see it ! Mind you, at Brisbane Airport my new hip did not set off the alarm and they kept passing me through and through the security gate trying to set it off ! Now with an added knee replacement and two titanium feet, I don’t stand a chance ! I get the security pat down like it or not, but at least my watch which used to set off the alarms at Cork airport before I got RA, passes through un-noticed !
Because I travel so often, I am well aware of what you can, and cannot, take through security. This prompts great suspicion that I simply must be carrying something illegal ! I take off my coat/jacket, never travel with a belt, but just try asking for a chair to take your shoes off with! Oh the suspicion of it all – a granny shoe bomber who has to sit down !
Mind you I am always more than willing to comply being reminded of a young man in front of us after going through several security checks in Istanbul after a bomb had gone off that morning in the City. We were leaving to come home and endured security check after security check . Then at the last one they made us all take off our shoes and lo and behold the young man in front of us had a small knife in his shoe! He’s probably still fading away in some prison somewhere judging from all the armed cops that fell on him and we were pushed on to the plane still with our shoes off – but at least I could sit down in my seat and put them back on !
My handbag was tested for explosives recently in Cairns with one of those long probes with a special bit put on the end. Of course it was OK, though I always feel as if I am looking terribly guilty of something or other. However the lady doing the probe was far more interested in if I had seen Steven Spielberg at Mossman where apparently they we’re filming a war movie with 400 extras and bombing the beaches ! Seeing as how we were staying just up the road from this tiny town with a population of less than the extras, she was finding it harder and harder to believe that I hadn’t noticed being bombed whilst lying on the quietest, most beautiful beach it has ever been my
privilege to lie on. Maybe they were filming the crawling through the Daintree rain forest bit whilst we were there because they all passed unnoticed to my laid back, laid down personage !

(Newell Beach – Far North Queensland)


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