‘Ooh là là!!’ said the French lady.
We were at Zürich Airport, almost at the top of the queue to go through security with our hand luggage. The French lady, me, a young couple from somewhere in Eastern Europe, by the sound of them – and a middle-aged pair who were putting their bags on the band.
The woman went first, with one of those small suitcases you can take on planes, plus a large handbag and an assortment of airport see-through bags containing make-up etc. The security lady peered at those, selected one, shook her head, and dropped it into the bin. The French lady and I exchanged sympathetic looks – I guess most people have fallen foul of the ‘no liquids’ rule. But the security lady wasn’t finished. She indicated the handbag, and the middle-aged woman, now slightly pink, opened it.
The security lady rummaged, then waved the Eastern Europeans, who were removing shoes and belts in anticipation, back towards the French lady and me. The four of us stood watching as several more bottles, tubes, and tubs of heaven knows what appeared from the handbag, and clunked and banged into the bin. That was the ‘Ooh là là!!’ moment, but the security lady still wasn’t finished. She wanted to look in the woman’s case now, and – you’ve guessed it – clunk, clunk, bang, bang. The thought went through my head that this woman had more jars and bottles in her hand luggage than I had in my entire bathroom…
The middle-aged man’s bag was scrutinised next, and several more tubes bit the dust. The Eastern European man rubbed his fingers together in a ‘money money’ gesture, and the rest of us nodded, four people unable to converse, but sharing this spectacle. Then another security person was summoned to investigate the couple elsewhere, and we all moved forwards, more than a little gobsmacked, but glad to be on our way again.
All I could think was – Why? What on earth had gone though the heads of this pair when they packed their bags? The ‘no liquids’ rule isn’t popular but it’s clear enough, and it’s there for a reason – and the couple were obviously aware of it as some small items had been bagged. Did they think they’d get away with the rest? That it didn’t matter? That they were somehow exempt?
There’s a story in there somewhere…
And talking of stories – only a week to go until Ward Zero is launched!