Don’t judge me! I’m allowed to be a tourist!
Plus how could you go somewhere as beautiful as this and NOT take any photos?
Any who, in my quest to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare I accidentally, maybe, possibly got there around 6 hours early (which, you know, is better than 6 hours late but come on!) so I try my best to spend all of my remaining US dollars and get about half way through the book I nabbed from Samesun. If I keep this up and manage to find all the books in the series, I could seriously make it through the entirety of Game of Thrones before I get back to the UK… challenge accepted!
It was all going so well! I checked my rucksack in, I was chilling, I had snacks. There was plenty of time before my flight was due, so I knew I wasn’t going to be rushing my way to the terminal. “What could possibly go wrong?” my innocent mind innocently thought.
Security. Going through security is what could go wrong.
The queue itself was fine, going at a fairly swift pace, and I soon get to the front and hand over the required documents. The first inkling that something was wrong was when the TSA agent took a double look at my ticket. The second was when another agent was called over. Finally, the chilling words that no one wants to hear:
“Ma’am, please step to the side.”
AND THEY WALKED AWAY WITH MY PASSPORT!
Now it’s stressful enough being in a foreign airport by yourself for the first time, especially when you know for a fact that said airport has some of the strictest security in the world. But when you’re on your own in a foreign airport and watching your passport, the ONE MAJOR THING that gets you out of the country, being whisked away as two other agents glare at you… HELL. ON. EARTH!
Especially when all the confusion and stress really gets your anxiety going. Yeah, I didn’t look suspicious at all.
Lesson Number 5 of this trip - If a TSA agent takes your passport away, don’t try asking them “Why?”. They won’t tell you. They’ll only distrust you more.
Thankfully another agent seemed to be able to tell I was freaking out slightly (because the sweating and hyperventilating is kind of a give away) and took pity on me, managing to distract me from the situation by asking me questions about how I enjoyed LA. Finally she let slip that the reason they were checking my passport was because someone on my flight had been randomly selected for extra security checks, and they couldn’t work out if it was me or another passenger with a very similar last name. Thank all the Seven Gods it wasn’t me, and to make up for holding me up for nearly 45 minutes they sent me straight to the front of the security line!
Where I then got pulled aside AGAIN because I’d accidentally packed a 150ml bottle of suncream into my carry on.
Ok, that one was my fault.
Safe to say it was all made worth it by the time I eventually got on the plane, to find that not only was I in the middle aisle, but the other 3 seats next to me were completely empty!
You better believe I pulled up all those arm rests and made use of every inch of those seats.