Drove to Newark on Friday the 18th; left around 3 … got there around … 6. Yeah. I hate traveling out of the New York area airports. Check-in was relatively smooth. Security was a good 45 minutes of waiting in line, and then one of the more unpleasant experiences I’ve had.
There was a lady in the TSA, obviously in a terrible mood, at the x-ray machine. She was angry at everybody for putting stuff in bins, and pulling everything out of the bins and tossing it on the belt, as a result. “THESE ARE BAGS, THEY HAVE ZIPPERS, THEY DO NOT NEED TO BE IN BINS, YOU IDIOTS!” And so forth. So I had my camera bag in a bin. Because in it is about $5000 of glass and bodies. And I don’t particularly want it getting tossed casually around. And she grabs it, pulls it out of the bin, and tossed is a few feet onto the belt.
I complained under my breath, and she said “If it bothers you, you can take the train.”
By comparison, when we came back from Germany, the German security personnel didn’t care if we took our shoes off, didn’t care if we had fluids in our bags, and were very polite. The agents smiled. There were friendly. Even though they went through every one of my lenses and wanted me to verify my camera worked in excruciating detail, it was almost fun. They made jokes. I hate traveling in American airports. It’s excruciatingly unpleasant.
Once we made it through that particular hell, we discovered ourselves in a seating area with exactly two places to eat: A Wolfgang Puck pre-made sandwich stand, and a Sam Adams “restaurant” which seemed to have the same sandwiches, plus beer. And it came with this fancy menu telling us how healthy it was:
There were a ton more options outside the gate, but there was no way I was braving angry woman again.
And thus, I waited patiently for the equipment (my first A340) to be ready to ferry me to Germany.