Welcome to the next episode of Archi’s Diary, a weekly entry in my favorite amnesiac’s journal as he tries to adjust to a world he doesn’t remember.
Episode 17 – May 2016
After my recent experiences I started thinking. How much trauma can a person endure? How much can the psyche take before you snap and lash out at someone unsuspecting, like Steve did? These last couple of months have been eventful to say the least, and I’ve had my fair share of big-time emotional traumas. Considering the circumstances I think I’m dealing with it in a constructive manner. But what about other little pains? The small everyday pinpricks of annoyance and discomfort, the tiny traumas in disguise? Stress in all its little facets, from your credit card being declined at the shop, or the barista getting your latte wrong, to someone honking at you crossing the road, for being slower than they expect. You should try and mitigate the damage, right? So you work on suppressing it a little bit every day, just to feel every new strain becoming a little more painful than the previous one. And there it is, the most painful hellhole on Earth… the airport.
This was my first encounter with airports and air travel in general and, as if the stress of navigating through the crowd and getting through security with all your limbs intact wouldn’t be enough, it’s made worse by screaming infants and people seemingly oblivious to the existence of showers. I was not entirely comfortable with the idea of getting into a large metal tube in the first place, but the whole experience now makes my eye twitch. Security appeared to be designed to get the worst out of people, passengers and security personnel alike. The queues were very long, I was subjected to inane and arbitrary rules, and they treated me like I was a criminal (technically I am, but let’s not get into that now). The guy in front of me was told to take out his tablet for inspection and then to put it away, because (and I quote) “it’s just a mini”. That doesn’t make any sense, I mean a tablet, phablet or phone all have the same capabilities from a security standpoint. Another man was yelled at for not taking his shoes off, despite the fact that another security person (do you call them guards? whatever!) told him beforehand that he doesn’t have to.
I got really stressed very quickly by all the rules, the amount of people, all the questions (which felt more like interrogation to me). At one point they took me aside (I immediately thought I was going to get arrested again), but all they wanted was to have me me walk through a body scanner (which malfunctioned spectacularly for some reason). They also asked me questions about my passport, which was held up in front of me, with the information clearly visible. They didn’t even try to hide it or anything, I could read the answers straight off the page. In a similar nonchalant attitude they asked me about my religious orientation. Not that I have any, but what’s that got to do with anything? Is religious orientation part of some profiling effort? Does it actually matter what I answer? I could just… you know, lie. Shocking, I know. Anyway, I finally got away from the smell of burning electronics and got to “pleasantly” wait for my flight..
Maybe it’s different in other airports considering I have nothing to compare this encounter to. In any case, security seems inconsistent and ineffective, more like a farce really. A theatre o,f security? Maybe it’s all designed to make people feel scrutinised, so nobody openly challenges the rules. But inspecting me in a way that borders on harassment, then tell me it’s for my own safety, seems a bit of a contradiction to me. It sure as hell didn’t make me feel safer. More annoyed? Definitely. Anyway… As I am writing this, I’m finally out of the airport, cruising safely towards Mexico, and this part is really nice. I was hoping to get a flight out before May 1st, but anything we found was too expensive on such short notice. Kerstin finally found a late cancellation, that’s how I got on this one. I just realised it now, how much I’m going to miss her.
Not much happened in the days leading up to my departure. No dark sedans following me around, no shadowy figures lurking in corners and no breakthroughs in my research. I had a few nice conversations with my friends and a few shifts at the cafe, met a very nice puppy, a golden retriever with a splash of black across its snout, named Spot. Not that I wanted a big farewell party, but my leaving feels anticlimactic after all that’s been happening. Might even call it a bit boring. I considered going back to my (Anthony’s) house for another rummage through the place, but I didn’t want to tempt fate, just in case the place is being watched. I’m leaving the keys for that house behind, along with any stuff I won’t need on the trip; hopefully I’ll be back for it someday.
I’ll be signing off now. Turns out the plane has a somewhat stable internet connection, so I’m going to spend some time looking up local news regarding Chichen Itza. Looks like some kind of incident is happening or has taken place there. Found some footage from a few days ago, showing government troops closing down the site, and turning away tourists and news reports saying that the area will remain closed for foreseeable future. If this has anything to do with Project Dee, I might already be too late. I’ll be landing in 6 hours time, hopefully I’ll have something more concrete by then. I also need to get some sleep, glorious sleep!
End of episode 17.
Some incidents reference to in this episode are based on actual experiences I’ve had in airports around the world. Fun times all around. Sadly, no exploding body scanner though.
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