Hey! I’m back from India!
The world has changed since last week’s terror attacks in Paris, Beirut, Paris, Bamako. Security has evidently been enhanced in line with the world’s jitters. Not everywhere, though. At the airside shopping mall at CS airport in Mumbai I noticed a door to a staff-only service corridor had been left open and I found dark thoughts crossing my mind about how anyone with malevolent intent might be able to access a secure zone.
The boarding gate at Dubai airport this afternoon had not one passport check but three separate teams of people checking, and someone was having his hand luggage searched and scanned in full view of everyone waiting at the gate to board the aeroplane. You do find yourself thinking, “Surely the IS wouldn’t bomb an Emirates plane?” I guess no-one is safe from their basilisk gaze.
Our aircraft was delayed on the ground for almost two hours while two passengers were “taken ill,” and eventually taken off the plane with two others. The Cabin Crew were charmingly at pains to point out that this was A Good Thing: it was better than having to be diverted in mid air to, I don’t know, Tehran? Kirkuk? Van? I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist but, given the heightened security situation, I wondered whether these passengers were actually taken ill or, rather, had been removed because of false papers or because security checks had named them as a potential threat.
Then, of course, there was as further delay as all remaining passengers had to verify their hand luggage. Perhaps they took this time to search for any suspicious objects. And so it carries on when we can no longer trust the intentions of people around us.
And another thought popped into my head: this is just like the readjustment required when suddenly you find that you can no longer trust someone who was hitherto part of your life. They know so much about you: your likes and dislikes; your movements; your interests; your Achilles Heel. It’s stretching a point here, and possibly in a way that lacks taste, but sometimes people whom you thought were your friends can suddenly start acting in an inexplicably spiteful or destructive way. These friendship terrorists must also be kicked off the plane to limit their sabotage.