Canada's Media Magazine

You can take away my gels and liquids…

I know what you’re thinking. Air travel isn’t that bad now. Really. Sure, there were some kinks to work out after 9/11; the sneaker bomber; and the liquid explosives plot — but now that we know what we can and cannot bring aboard a plane, then air travel should go smoothly!

Except we still don’t know. At least I didn’t. And I prepared. So help me, God, I prepared. I read the Air Canada website, the airport website, the Customs website — and still, there were surprises. Even more than last year.

Check-in: There are 5 separate lineups and no clear signs. I spend 10 minutes in one line before realizing it’s for first-class passengers, and then sheepishly switch over to the next. I am asked by the clerk for the address I will be staying at while in the U.S. Last time, I didn’t have to provide this information until I got to customs. And so, the frenetic digging in the bag begins.

Security: I was prepared to have to take off my jacket and shoes while going through the metal detector. I was not prepared to have to take off my sweater, too, leaving me in just a tank top. Note to self: next time, wear a bra.

Customs: You know, I used to get through this *fairly* easily; being a meek, SWF with the intimidation factor of a turtle. But not anymore. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is that the man who won’t even look me in the eye just confiscated my $10 facial scrub — even though it was packed in a Ziploc bag, like they asked — because the bottle is too big.

The Gate: No problems here. But why? Because what I don’t know yet is that the flight will make up for it.

The Flight: The last time I was on a plane, I vowed to myself that I would never sit through another one-sided conversation initiated by the person seated next to me. Unfortunately, the relief of finally being seated has made me forget this, and I succumb to small-talk with my fellow passenger. He asks me what I like to write about; I say celebrities. He asks me if I am Lebanese. It is not until half-way through the ensuing conversation on Lebanon that I realize he thought I said I like to write about “the Lebanese.”

The Arrival: This might as well say, “the homecoming,” because I’m never going through that again. I’m staying here. You hear that, Customs?! I’m frigging staying in the U.S. no matter what I wrote on that form, because you drove me to it, and you can’t stop me! In the words of Michael Scott from The Office, “SUCK. ON. THAT.”

Content Creator
Giselle Melanson Tattrie is a writer and researcher who has worked in TV, film and print. She is currently the features editor for Popjournalism as well as the technical and content editor for Drawspace Publishing. Giselle lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and two children.
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