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October 08, 2008

Off to Tehran .... again.

Just a quick and probably very brief note to anyone interested. I am on my way to the airport and a flight to Tehran. The reason? I'm due to give a seminar on Fire Investigation and I am told there are over six hundred delegates booked. This could be interesting, it is a one day seminar and an audience that size is going to take some reaching. Fortunately, although I am scheduled to be the principle speaker, there are two other chaps assisting me so it won't be all my own effort.

We are booked to fly in First/Business (Tickets say First - booking form says Business!), we have our visas (another story!) and now its just a case of getting to Heathrow and catching the flight.

I used to enjoy these trips, but over the years the efforts to tighten security have introduced so many ridiculous "rules" most of which are purely to satisfy the politicians desire to be seen to "be doing something" and which serve no purpose other than to make life miserable for anyone attempting to travel anywhere, that any visit to an airport is likely to raise the blood pressure to unacceptable limits and give rise to the risk of me actually telling some dim twerp of a security operative exactly what they can do with their electronic wand.

Still, the prize has to go to the Amercian airline check in clerk in Frankfurt recently. Mausi and I had to travel together to a conference in the US. This lady decided that someone with my passport living in England and flying out of Frankfurt had to be a potential terrorist. It didn't help that I can, after a fashion, speak German, though definietly not to conversation standard. I had answered almost all her simple questions in German without actually thinking about what I was doing. Then she asked "Do you speak German?"

I'd have thought that by that stage my accent and the monosyllabic answers where a clue, but I answered, stupidly - "Nein!"

Her face was a study, as she launched into a torrent of German, demanded additional Photo ID and rushed off to call a supervisor.

I think I still owe Mausi for her laughter!

Ce la vie! The road the Heathrow and the usual chaos beckons. I'd better go.

Posted by The Gray Monk at October 8, 2008 10:51 AM

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