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1:12pm on Wednesday, 9th March, 2011:



Well that wasn't expected.

Dublin Airport has a US Pre-Clearance area for flights to America. You can go through the scary process of being questioned by a humourless, skeptical border security agent with a plaster on her lip before you get on the flight, rather than after.

You also get your shoes X-rayed. There's no metal-detection or anything like that, as people will have already been through that process in order to get to the pre-clearance area. However, you won't necessarily have had your shoes X-rayed, so they X-ray your shoes. Of course, anyone with a shoe bomb could, prior to this, have moved the bomb from their shoes to their jacket and then just sauntered through. That would mean a would-be terrorist would have to be clever, though, but by definition they're a bunch of crazies so we should be just fine.

I was actually pleased to have to take my shoes off as I had a stone in the right one. The taxi came to pick me up 10 minutes early this morning so I had to put on my jacket and shoes in a hurry, and this was the first opportunity I had to take the shoe off and get the stone out. I'm therefore actually quite grateful to the US Homeland Security people for what could otherwise easily have been construed as a pointless exercise in showing visitors to the USA who's boss.

Another advantage was that the café this side of the security served lemon and ginger cake by the slab (an inch and a half thick). It was great, and should see me through the chicken dinner they will probabkly try to serve me on the plane. I wasn't expecting it to taste of currants, though...

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).