I started coming down with some kind of plague the last day of our trip, scratchy throat and general fatigue led to some bitchiness. I was not feeling particularly well when we loaded up and headed for the airport. Security at Heathrow was unpleasant, as they herded us off to have our bags searched before we were even allowed to check in for our flight, then we went through additional screening and x-raying before we were allowed through security where I was frisked without explanation. I hate that. If you, stranger, are going to put your hands on me, you'd better have a damn good reason for doing so! I dislike being poked, prodded, jostled, or patted. On my best days, I tolerate it through gritted teeth, but when I'm sick, headachy, unhappy, or stressed out, it's all I can do not to roar push back. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
Of course, I thought that was the end of it, and I returned to a calm center, did a little duty free shopping (brought Kate a Harrod's
t-shirt with a Scottish Terrier on it (a winner) and my mom a scarf of Shetland wool. Bought myself a little Laphroaig Quarter Cask
to sit alongside the last remnants of the Talisker
Glad to be getting home, feeling tired, achy, run down, we went to our gate where I was frisked and asked to empty my bags AGAIN
! ARGH. Not one of the four empowered employees could tell me WHY I was being searched yet again. "My, you look cross," said one, and I said yes, I was cross as this was the third time I'd had been searched without any explanation. This search, I found out, was supposed to be considered different because it was courtesy of American Airlines and not airport security. Then, on top of it all, they did a piss poor job. They asked me to open my bag, turn on my laptop (though the battery was in the red and completely run down), decided they should summon a supervisor to talk to me about the search, then changed their minds, decided the supervisor wasn't coming, they didn't need to wait for my laptop to turn on after all, and they got around to letting me through to board the plane finally. Had I actually been some kind of threat, those dumbasses were not going to find anything. Infuriating.
Of course, once we landed in Chicago and passed customs there we were dumped into yet another giant line where we were forced to shuffle through security (removing shoes and laptops from their cases) AGAIN, having done nothing but cross from point A to point B in the few minutes we'd been back on the ground. At least that time I wasn't frisked... though I did find it ironic that the two young women who were checking boarding cards to IDs were busily jabbering away at each other in what sounded like Russian. Nice to see the TSA has skipped the step of having to actually go to Russia in order to have a Russian-speaking security guard demand to see your papers.
Finally made it home, after a total of 21 hours of travel. Didn't say a proper goodby to Dr. Evil in Chicago as he had to run to make his connection but he was probably glad to be rid of us by that point anyway, lest he be body cavity searched for merely being in my vicinity.
Thankfully my mom stayed through the weekend to help me get readjusted. My plague combined with the jetlag and I spent most of the weekend in bed sleeping and taking cold medicine. Ate some chicken soup, slept a lot, and thankfully I awoke feeling much more human (and only slightly sniffly) this morning... though I still awoke at 4:30am. Inching back to Pacific Time slowly but surely.