Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Attack of the nail clippers!

Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the latest frivolity of security organisations. Can you or can you not take liquids on planes? What about duty free liquor bought in the airport shop? Do I take my shoes off or not? Is a boomerang a deadly weapon? (Yes, it is, apparently, although one wonders how far it would get you in the hijacking of a plane.)

Knowing that nail scissors were a no-no, I put those in the check-in luggage, but took nail clippers in the plane, all two and a half inches of them, i.e. about 6 or 7 cms long. One of those really cheap small ones, just in case I broke a nail - which I seem to do often while travelling. They went through x-rays once in Kuala Lumpur, once in Singapore, twice in Tokyo, twice in USA. No problems.

On the way back they were taken from me in Singapore as an obvious weapon of mass destruction threat to airline security. I was supposed to claim them back on arrival in K.L. and, of course, forgot.

I am still trying to imagine (and remember, I have an excellent imagination) a hijacker attacking a flight attendant with a small nail clipper: "Let me into the cockpit or I will clip you to death!"

On another matter: I also had the most remarkable airplane meal ever, on the journey home. We were presented with a snack that consisted of a polystyrene cup of dried noodles, to which they then added hot water. Wait for 4 minutes, then slurp eat. Yep, something akin to what is known as Maggi Mee in Malaysia.

Quite frankly instant noodles (much loved by kids) is ghastly ersatz stuff, to be eaten only when absolutely necessary - like on camping trips. We took some of the better ones with us when we walked into Camp 5 in Mulu National Park, simply because they are so light to carry. After 2 days of instant noodles, we sat down one night at the camp table to eat yet another meal of the same. Then had to watch, incredulous and salivating, as a young couple were conducted by their cook/guide/porter to an adjacent table with a tablecloth, upon which he placed an 8-dish meal. Chicken and ginger, curry, mixed vegetables, salad, rice, sliced pineapple, anchovies, beef and vegetables... By this time, we were panting like Pavlov's dogs.

Slowly we opened up our cups, added hot water, waited for it to "cook" and then slurped our noodles, trying not to watch while that couple got tucked in to the business of eating fresh food that they had not had to carry, with real knives and forks. When they finished and moved away, leaving some of the food uneaten, it was all we could do not to pounce on the leftovers...

Please, don't offer me instant noodles on a plane. Plane travel is bad enough without that.

2 comments:

Patty said...

I've had nail clippers confiscated on a flight from Sydney to Hobart, where, upon arrival, we were made to wait to the side of the terminal where there was one of those circular driveway thingies under an awning. A tractor with the trolleys as they came from the plane pulls up, and after a trusty Beagle had run over our luggage, we were free to climb on the trolleys to get our own stuff. Ahem. Security? And they confiscate my *nail clippers*?

Plane food. On our recent trip to Eurpoe, I found that, especially for growing teenagers, it's rarely enough. If they then happen to not like it, you're stuck with hungry and grumpy kids for 20 hours.

Anonymous said...

I too have pndered the ways of trying to highjack a plan with nail clippers and have to figure out a way to do... nail scissors, emboirdery needles, nail files (esp the ones with the point on the end) yes, could manage it with those, but clippers? unless you are lucky enough to grab some skin and have the clippers be able to cut through it, all you can really do after that point is add some lemon juice to make it sting...

and noodles in a cup does not constitute a meal.... a snack maybe, but not a meal....

Little Fox