Yesterday I came from Houston to Newark. Nowadays in Ramadan I get up at 4.30am to have breakfast because of fasting. Yesterday I got up at 2.30 am to have it as the flight was at six. I didn’t feel like eating but forced myself. Left home at three in the morning. My son drove me. He checked in my one piece of luggage. Poor thing he had to get up early because of me.
Onward from there the trouble started. As I got to the screening I had no sense of impending doom. I loaded my handbag and sandals onto the tray and headed towards my own screening. Hands held over the head, I faced the camera. As I stepped out of the cubicle, I was held. Told to wait as other passengers breezed through. Again, I was lead through another screening. Another one, a period of waiting, and then another one. The alarm bells over my predicament now were in full swing in my head. My face you can imagine was beet red in color. All the things in my handbag were searched. Still barefoot, I was lead to another cubicle for body search.
My body was searched as to what they call a Pat Down. It was humiliating. God knows what they were trying to find. My bare feet went through swabs of cotton. By now my anger knew no bounds. I wanted to bite the two women’s heads off. I took off my scarf and then my abaya and asked sarcastically, ” Want me to take off my clothes so that you can have another go at me?” Perplexedly they shook their heads. As one of the women held the abaya in her hands, I found out the buttons in the abaya caused me all this grief. It dawned on those women too at this point. Stupid camera machine! It doesn’t know buttons. I hope the inventors and the installers face the same music which I went through.