Airports: the Security

The 21st century offers new technologies in every sphere. It also offers new methods of fighting for “freedom” in some regions all over the world. Some regions get the freedom officially as Kosovo, some write to all the international organizations as South Ossetia and Abkhazia while some keep on resisting international forces as Chechnya or some regions of Central Asia. Every day on TV you can hear about terrific blasts in cafes and at some railway stations. Probably the most dangerous explosions occur on transport.

Go to any big enough airport or railway station, and you will see how many people arrive and departure. They are like tiny ants, traveling all over the place. Is it possible to control them? Its hard to answer but I would say, “Yes”.

I am not saying airports should be like in Israel where people are at higher risk than probably anyone in the world. What Israelis managed to do with the airport at the nation’s capital is amazing. It might be an ideal example to follow for everyone. It doesn’t really matter if you live in Dublin or Vladivostok, in Moscow or Mumbai. No one knows what city is going to be the next target of terrorists who turn out to be uncontrollable by super modern security agencies and organizations.

Speaking about airports where I had a chance to be, I would like to say the local St.Petersburg is the worst one according to security services. There are no dogs, custom officers are friendly but they don’t look at your luggage. One day I was carrying 2 bottles of vodka instead of one: my Mom just bought two instead of one. Since no one drinks in the family, I was supposed to take it with me. I was ready to throw the bottle away when I saw no reaction on the officer’s face. However, the officer made me take the creme that I had. The offense was that creme was brand new and 5 other cremes were left in the bag. There was a spray for hands that didn’t seem to be suspicious to the officer. However, I do believe sprays are more dangerous than cremes. Maybe they just wanted to get a new creme?

German airports are fine. It’s allowed to smoke, they don’t check you as much as in London. There are dogs and personnel uses special tiny cars or even scooters to get from one place to another. Germans are very strict about time and everything should be in order. They took my Teddy Bear for a check as they thought it could contain some chemical elements or drugs. I was not against it as it is their job and they have a right of suspecting me because they want everyone be safe.

When tiny and alone, I was shocked why I had to leave my shoes before boarding. Everyone had his or her shoes on, mine were asked to be left behind. My shoes were suspicious- with lots of tiny dots and there was a heart in the centre. The officers made the kid scared, and at the time I thought they were suspecting me because I was Russian by my passport. What amazed me later about London airports was the stuff. While in Germany they use tiny scooters that everyone wants to have, probably 90 % of airport stuff in London is Asian immigrants.

A huge Labrador was the first creature that I met in the States. The doggy was carried by a very friendly officer who thought I didn’t speak English so he wanted to get a free translator for me. It offended me a bit but now I do understand that not many young teenagers speak foreign language so it was just a friendly “gesture”. And I also thought it was because of my nationality. Then, I was carried to a special room either for Eastern Europeans or citizens of the former USSR. I remember a Georgian lady with a kid who was crying. I do understand they probably suspected all the people in the room of immigration, but how is it possible for a Middle School girl who travels alone immigrate? That sounds ridiculous even now, doesn’t it? Here I should recollected the case that happened the past year with a tiny boy who was somehow sent by his foster parents from the US to Moscow. He flew alone half of the world, and no one stopped him. Some mistakes can be made by any person so maybe the officers were right to put me into that room.

What amazes me now is the amount of Indians and Africans who arrive to the UK, the States and Canada. Standing in the airport line you see probably 5 Asians (mostly Indians), 3 Africans and just 2 or 1 Europeans or people with Slavic appearance. And that is a bit terrifying, even now. They speak one language (though there are more than 20 official languages in India), and they do understand each other or maybe they just seem to do it. And you are all alone, trying to find someone at least from Europe.

What I have noticed is that the situation at airports reflects life in the country itself. I found it very interesting and made up my mind to write a story with a bit of personal experience and a bit of own thoughts. Anyway, should it really matter where a person is from or where he or she lives? I think all the rules should be the same for everyone at any part of the world. That’s a tiny bit part of democracy, isn’t it?!

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