Airport upgrades

Flew home from Mexico yesterday. The Mexico City airport, which is a vast labyrinth of interconnected terminals surrounded by the city, is planning a gigantic move/rebuilding on the outskirts. There are models and drawings and 3-D animated flyovers running in the exhibition spaces of the airport showing what the planners have planned.

Popular with the kids. The adults seemed to realize that these changes won’t happen in their lifetime and won’t end up looking anything like the models, anyway.

In Houston, US Customs has created an enormous new processing facility for travellers arriving from foreign countries. Very high tech, but poorly signed (the electronic signboards that are supposed to tell you where to find your luggage for inspection were flipping wildly like an old TV set, so actual humans were on hand with paper lists to direct you. They probably have a stash of legal pads and pens hanging on the wall with a sign: “In case of Emergency, break glass!)

I picked up my luggage in a carousel that was in a glass-enclosed room. All the other carousels were out in the open, which made me wonder why my flight had been singled out for quarantine.

The exits to the room were blocked, and once I got inside, I noticed a large sign over the inside of the entry doorway that read “Do Not Enter! Wrong Way!” I wondered if I was supposed to curl up in a comfortable corner and wait to be escorted from the room by an armed guard.

In the end, I ignored the sign and went out the way I came in. Nobody arrested me, much to my relief. But I suspect that secret cameras observed my flagrant disregard for the signs and have recorded my face and placed me on a watch list.

No worries there. The computer will undoubtedly malfunction, and teams of agents will have to do pencil sketches off of a fuzzy video monitor that flips wildly like an old TV set…

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