Thank god I’m out of there.

I’m back from Perth. Ugh. What a boring city. It’s like being in Wellington during the 80s (or maybe Miramar before Peter Jackson created an industry there – only true Miramartians will remember). Really nothing to write home about. Well almost. Was just going to briefly say “nice gardens” and the one thing going for it that the far superior Melbourne doesn’t have, is plenty of brown faces.

That was all I was going to say until this morning.

This morning when we went through security at Perth Intl.

A quick word about my mum. If you’ve met my mum you’ve probably told me that she’s cute or funny or both. She wears a sari everyday (with usually a sleeveless blouse). She speaks fantastic English (well she kind of has to because that’s the only language I can speak). She’s pretty modern in her outlook (again she’s had to live with me, and me going out with a non Indian boy for some years).

So lets pass through check in (slow as anything but fine), immigration (fine) and arrive at security. The bit where they xray all of your stuff. Fine. I put our two handbags onto the conveyor belt along with our passports, some left over coins and the cabin bag. I go through wearing my shoes, my watch and my Tino Rangatiratanga flag pin attached to my black hoodie. My mum is stopped. They ask her to take off her gold bangles. Mum points out that she can’t take them off because they’re too tight (I don’t think Mum has ever taken them off since she got married). So they tell Mum to take off her watch (she’s not wearing a cardigan so they can see all this) and to remove her shoes.

Mum is the only one who is asked to remove her shoes, everyone else (including me) isn’t asked. Once she passes through the metal detectors (with no sounds) the guard raises an eyebrow at her. We collect our bags (I have to open my handbag to show that I’ve got a can of Impulse in it instead of I don’t know what) and she then gets pulled over in a “random” explosives test. A swab is run around her handbag and then tested. Luckily for her, Mum is not very explosive today, well not physically, her mental state by now cannot be spoken for.

Ok, it may well have been random but considering that the explosives test guard didn’t have anyone before us and was watching proceedings I doubt it.

Mum was the only one who was asked to remove her shoes. Why?
Lets compare shoes:

Mum

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Mine

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Which one do you think is more likely to be hiding something?

Does my mother look like a terrorist? Do elderly Indian ladies dressed in saris fit the profile of a terrorist? How many people like Mum are singled out?

If you’re going to ask people to take their shoes off and explosives test their handbag then ask everyone, take the time, I don’t care, but don’t single out people because they look different/ethnic/brown. You’re not helping race relations. And frankly, mate, your country could do with some help.

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3 Responses to “Thank god I’m out of there.”

  1. Couldn’t agree more – I got so f’d off passing through security at Sydney because they DIDN’T check my hand luggage properly. I was angry both becuase if they are going to make us wait for an hour in queue for their ‘security’ measures they should at least be proper security measures… and because I knew that they didn’t bother too much with me because I am a 25-y-o white English-speaking female.

  2. […] Mama was one of the many Indians who fled Amin’s regime. The bangles that she wears (and has never taken off) are a gift from her Mama who smuggled them out of Uganda along with the rest of his family fortune […]

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