Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blog #30 The Trouble with Traveling

Having a detective mindset means having an inquisitive nature and asking a lot of questions. “Why should I care if the IRS clarifies the sub part F regulations?” I asked my husband the tax attorney recently. Or, “why does it cost $1,400 to join a sorority?” this to my daughter, the college sophomore.

So, it is not surprising that when I was at the airport this week-end on my way to teach a course in New York, I found myself asking, why, oh why, oh why? I watched with utter perplexity as a line of people allowed themselves to be lead into a milliwave machine and radiated.

According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, a physician and writer, TSA naked body scanners can cause sperm mutations and increase the risk of breast cancer. The Pilot’s Association has reportedly sent a letter to its members urging them to opt out of the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). Other sources report that the ionizing radiation by the machines concentrate on the skin increasing the risk of skin cancer.

This all sounds ominous to me and I figure I should at least wait for some good long term safety data before getting ready for my milliwave close up. So, I was dismayed to watch one person after another dutifully and passively walk in to the mystery machine and get zapped. Not a single person opted out.

I was bracing for a body cavity search or whatever other indignity I was going to be subject to for opting out when I noticed there were two lanes and you could just avoid the X-ray machine. So, I did.

Why are people not objecting? The acceptance by so many of the invasive and unsafe is distressing to me. Ask questions. Object when things don’t make sense. Get patted down but do not add to your chances of getting cancer which are already 1 in 3 over a lifetime.

Depressed by this full scale display of submissiveness, I trudged to my gate. On the way, I saw a man drinking a tall beer at one of the many generic bars. The scene would not have been notable except for the fact that it was 11:00 in the morning. Yes, traveling has gotten to the point that a beer with breakfast is about what you need to get through a typical airport experience.

I realized I was hungry and went searching for food. The places I can most reliably depend on finding edible food at airports is Cibo and Starbucks. Cibo has small salads, mini chicken Cesear chicken wraps, tiny hummus containers, veggies with dip and Be Kind bars. They have reasonable portions. Most of the other places that have single salads that could feed a family of four or lunchmeat sandwiches. What can I say? Lunchmeat is gross. Sadly, this terminal did not have a Cibo, which meant looking for a Starbucks.

Of the chains usually represented at the airport, I have been surprised to find myself sometimes looking for Starbucks, even though I do not drink coffee. This morning, I stood in a long line to order their very tasty oatmeal. I threw away the brown sugar packet but added the nuts and dried fruit. It was made with water and was delicious.

I walked back to my gate and enjoyed every bite. But, I still needed something. Maybe a beer.

1 comment:

  1. I agree we need more edible food at the airport. I do enjoy the oatmeal at Starbucks. Some suggestions would be to take some Dr McDougal soups or miso soup with you and then you only have to add hot water to them. I travel with homemade sushi rolls too.