A Horrendous Airport Experience & Some Stray Cats Of Iran …

On the morning that I was leaving to go back to Dubai I got up early and after breakfast did some photo editing while waiting for the rest of my family to arrive … I was sitting in the dining area by the kitchen so I could chat with my grandparents while I was getting on with stuff … and I enjoyed listening in on their banter some more … my Grandmother kept saying I ought to pack my Granddad in my suitcase and take him back with me …

Later in the morning the rest of my family and cousin’ s arrived to hang out for the last couple hours before we had to leave for the airport … I finished carefully packing my suitcase and as I was taking a fair amount of food stuffs I made sure I’d packed everything properly so I wouldn’t end up with crumbs or leaked juices everywhere …

My Gran also gave me a bunch of home cooked meals she had frozen for me to take back … we were eating the food for ages after wards … we left with plenty of time to get to the airport and I said goodbye to my grandparents at the house before leaving … we got to the airport all ok … traffic wasn’t too bad and I had a little over two hours before my flight once I’d arrived …

photo 4 copyIn Shiraz Airport only passengers can go through to the check in desks … they have a security check point where they scan the bags and you before you can check in so only passengers are allowed through … all my troubles that day started when I said goodbye to my family and went through security …

The security checkpoint is segregated into men and women only sections … but the x-ray bag scanner machine for the ladies was broken so I had to pass my bags through the men’s side and go through the ladies and collect them on the other side … but when I got to my bags and was about to pull them away one the security guy’s took one look at me and asked me to open my bag …

Now this has happened to me before when I’ve travelled with my family … inevitably one of bags will sometimes end up being opened … but this was the first time I had to deal with it on my own … and the best way to get through it is to just go along with what they ask … if you start talking back you only make more trouble for yourself … so with that in mind I was extremely polite and did what they asked without complaining about it …

The security guy just rifled through my neatly packed suitcase and randomly pulled out a couple bits to scan again before telling me to pack it up … thinking that was the end of it I packed up my stuff and was about to go join the check in queue when the same guy stopped me again … he then called one of the female security guards over and basically told her to search all my bags … at this point I was starting to get nervous …

Now I knew I had nothing to hide … I didn’t have anything in my bag that would be a problem or wouldn’t be allowed … it’s just I can be a bit of a nervous flier in that I worry I’m going to miss my flight … I’ve always been the person who gets to the airport way too early for the flight … I’d rather wait around in the airport and relax than be freaking out that I’m about to miss my flight …

So back to having my bags searched … the woman started with my handbag … she literally took every single thing out of it … checked all the zipped up bits … flicked through my notebooks and even checked in my purse …

Then once that was done and I’d started to pack it back up she began on my hand luggage bag … emptying it out … checking my laptop … camera equipment … etc … she even unzipped the lining on my bag and checked it …

Then they (by this point there were two of them checking my stuff) moved onto my main suitcase … the bag I had spent ages meticulously packing and organising so everything fit perfectly … they emptied it out … completely … unzipped the lining and everything … they manhandled all my stuff and searched every nook and cranny in my bag … before finally turning round to me and saying ok now you can pack it up again …

So not only did they empty all my stuff they then just stood there while I had to repack it all … and then they had the nerve to tell me to hurry up … by this point I’d been held up for over half an hour and was starting to get agitated and worried about checking in …

Once it was all packed I grabbed my bags and was about ready to go when the security woman stopped me and asked to scan my shoes … I was really trying hard to bite my tongue and not say anything that would cause me to be held up any longer … so while my shoes were scanned they decided to pat me down again … bear in mind they already did that when I first passed through … but this time it was more of a grope than a pat down … it was very uncomfortable…

After all this was over and I had my shoes back on again I thought I could finally get on my way … but no the woman turned back to me and asked me to follow her to Radiology … At this point I think my jaw dropped … still I kept my cool and followed her into a room which was set up with a full body X-ray machine … I stood there as she scanned me from head to toe with what looked to be a really old and decrepit machine … who knows how much radiation I was exposed to in those few minutes!

Anyway so I was finally allowed to go … and just before I went I did ask the woman if she could tell me why I was stopped and searched … her response was that she didn’t know … because the male security guard had told her to search my bags she did and that was it … no other reason … I never found out what they saw in my bag that caused me to be harassed in such a way … I guess I must just look that suspicious …

When I finally got to the check in queue it was a mile long … I was one of the last people to check in and had to rush through the rest of the security check points to be sure I caught my flight … it didn’t help that they pretty much strip searched my hand luggage bag once more on my way to board the plane …

The whole time from when I first got stopped by the male security guard until I had gotten past the last check point getting on the plane I was constantly asked questions about my family, where my parents were, what I was doing in Dubai, and about my life in general … it was such a stressful couple of hours for me, so much so that I didn’t even realise how hot and flustered I was until I got on the plane …

It wasn’t how I wanted to end my trip but I guess things don’t always go as planned … either way I had a great time overall while I was in Iran and I am looking forward to going back there again soon … and hopefully with Perry next time I go …

And to brighten up this post here are a few pictures of some of the beautiful stray cats I saw around Iran … to be fair I didn’t feel too bad for them as  they all look pretty well fed to me … my Granddad puts out scraps for the strays in their area every day …

_MG_9916-1 _MG_9912-1 _MG_9647-1 _MG_0687-1 _MG_0685-1 _MG_0420-1 _MG_0409-1 _MG_0403-1 _MG_0397-1That’s it for my Iran updates … this is the last of the posts I had lined up from this trip …

Thanks for tuning in …

Till next time …

Mina X

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