It was travel hell getting home from Tonder. Four hours of driving in pelting, relentless rain. The kind where you hold your breath as you're passing trucks because you can see nothing at all for those ten seconds.. Please let me live.
Then, the one good part of the day? They didn't charge me excess baggage in Copenhagen for my guitar. I tried to convince them to let me take it on board, as the last two times I connected through Heathrow, they had lost it.. no go. Ok, well at least I didn't have to carry it. It's heavy in the road case.
Well, it was downhill from there. Heavy winds of course made us late in to Heathrow for the connection to New York. In the transfer hall I got stuck behind a hundred little Japanese students who had never traveled before, and so slowed the ONE OPEN SECURITY LINE to a crawl. I had an hour, I thought, ok, it'll be close, but I'll make it. 50 minutes later I was just getting to the front of the line. I knew my gate was a mile away, the screening people seemed to think it was all very funny. And then, all of a sudden, after years of touring with my knitting, daily flights, through most major airports, including at least twenty trips through HEATHROW..my knitting needles were a HUGE THREAT. I had four sets with me. Four little projects going on. And no time to argue. At this point, I did my best, but the meltdown started. I was so tired, I'd been traveling already for so long. I begged them just to hurry, I just wanted to get home, to see my husband, please just don't make me miss my flight. The woman in charge sadistically pulled out random things from my carry on, spreading them over two or three of those plastic bins. There was a glint in her eye. Let's just prolong the fun, she was thinking. I was in tears. My things were everywhere. My beloved bracelets, my microphones, my camera, MY CHOCOLATE. She ran her little wand over every single thing to check for explosive residue. Went back three separate times to her machine to make sure.
She finally finished torturing me, after I had ripped out my four sets of needles and somehow thrown everything back in my bag. (I'm surprised I didn't lose anything precious, I'm surprised I didn't say anything that would have had them arrest me) Then came that classic, cliche desperate FULL THROTTLE RUN to the gate. I was the last one there. Soaked with sweat, crying full steam at this point. The gate agent asked, "Are you ok, Madame?" Wrong question. I just couldn't pull myself together. PATHETIC!!! Sobbing, "NO, I am NOT OK." in that gasping childish way! What a baby! Imagine what that soldier had to go through to make it to Vegas?
I made it with two minutes to spare. Of course it took me a half hour to re-compose myself. That's when of course, it seemed so silly. It's just knitting needles. Yeah, they're not cheap, but I can probably piece back together all the stitches that got pulled out.
I was more angry than anything. Security is so random and ineffective. A pen would make a better weapon than my knitting needles. I just happened to get the cranky meany at the transfer hall. And she was standing between me and HOME.
I finally got to New York at one in the morning. My two suitcase toddled down the luggage shute. But, surprise of all surprises. NO GUITAR.
I am humbled, I will be patient. I won't talk back to the authorities, I will check my knitting with my luggage from now on. I will pay excess baggage charges joyfully. Please just bring me back my guitar. Please?
I'm still waiting.