Sunday, May 15, 2011

And I Swear That I Don’t Have a Gun, No I Don’t Have a Gun

If you’re looking for a safe refuge in Mexico, might we suggest spending your entire visit in the air? The security inspection at Querétaro “International” Airport is refreshingly albeit absurdly thorough – you take of your shoes, you take off your belt, you take your laptop out of its case and remove all metal objects from your pockets, and put your bags through the x-ray. Then you go through the metal detector and even if you don’t set it off you are then thoroughly hand-wanded, where the rivets on your jeans (and, weirdly and consistently, your shins) will set off the buzzer prompting a further manual pat-down, after which you step over to the table where your carry-on bags, your belt and your shoes are waiting to be searched in minute detail by the airport’s private security personnel. If you’re carrying a wallet, they’ll ask you to pull it out and open it (not for the usual reason Mexican officials ask you to do this). All the American rules regarding liquids, ziplock bags and sharp objects apply.

And then, because American air carriers don’t trust Mexicans to do something as simple as find a gun in a backpack, you pick up your bags, walk a few feet towards the gate, and go through the entire inspection process all over again. The belt, the shoes, the wand, the pat-down, the bag search, etc, etc, all performed by a private security company hired by (in this case) Continental Airlines – the same private security company that inspected you on behalf of the airport 30 seconds ago. The two stations are so close together you can see one from the other.

And of course, because Americans don’t trust any foreigners – not just Mexicans – to get this shit right, when you change planes in Houston, you do it all again. We’re pretty sure we were the only unarmed people in Texas this afternoon – and, really, we were most emphatically unarmed.


Dave said...

They really should allow guns on planes. If you're going to need one at school, in church and wherever, why wouldn't you need to defend yourself in the air? Besides, to be really second amendment-y, they should just hand out guns at check-in. You never know when someone wants to snatch your freedom.

There's nothing like watching security at B. Juarez in D.F. rifling cursorily through my carefully packed luggage and then declaring me fit to fly...

And then I scroll down and see the perro still waiting by the door. I hope he's moved by now.

Burro Hall said...

I'm told he moped for a bit, but was heartened to learn that, while The-Guy-Who-Gives-Me-Food may have left, the food itself stayed behind, so all is well.