October 10, 2010

Funny Experiences at Passport Control

Greg and I must have an aura surrounding us that requires something unusual to happen whenever we get into the vicinity of the passport or airport security. If airport people had a sense of humor and wanted to make a hidden camera-type show, we'd be on it for sure. That's just our luck.

Our latest funny experience occurred in the Tel Aviv airport. I'm walking a little ways ahead because I always walk really fast once I've been couped up on a plane and want to use a normal bathroom. Greg was behind me at a far enough distance that it looked like we weren't together. The agent stopped him - my blond-haired, blue-eyed innocent-looking husband - and thankfully, I looked back in time to see Greg waving me over to whip out my Hebrew. The guy must have thought it was unusual we weren't walking together. After he asked me to define our relationship, he asked how long we'd been together. Lesson learned: it looks suspicious if you don't walk as a couple... and so Greg needs to keep up! :-)

On the way back from Israel, besides being asked the origin of the last name "Golz" by an Israeli agent, we had a fun experience in the Vienna airport. We had a layover there and had to go through passport control because we were entering Europe again. What Austrian passport control seemed to fail to take into account is that a plane full of Israelis should not be underestimated when it comes to maintaining orderly lines. To one side, you could clearly see the line for EU passport holders - perfect, orderly, moving at a good clip. Then, you see the line for non-EU passports - no, you couldn't even call it a line - a mass of mostly Israelis with a few unfortunate Americans and other nationalities sprinkled throughout. CHAOS REIGNS! People are one solid link of humanity - an elbow here stuck to a shoulder there stuck to a back over there.

The passport lady rose from her seat a couple of times and yelled to those waiting (who were really pushing as far forward as they could) to tell them to stay behind the yellow line. I would not have messed with her and yet the Israelis made sure to antagonize her by stepping over the yellow line again and again. If I were her, I would have turned them away. At least I know one profession to cross off my list.

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