Yesterday was tense.
I decided to fly to Cyprus, Plan A, the way I came. Flight at 2.45. I couldn’t buy a ticket online for because I’d lost my primary phone (with primary sim card) so I couldn’t use my credit card. The bank sends a code to the phone to verify ownership of card when paying online.
I’ve been paying online from Paypal but that’s about depleted. I decide to wake up at dawn and head out to Schipol and buy a ticket there. Never done it, don’t know if it’s happen.
Everything is on a tight schedule, and one delay would have me scrambling to get Plans B or C going.
Ride to Amsterdam Centraal, forgie visit to Central Coffee shop because of sked. Buy ticket to Schipol. Bike and me on train. Arrive Schipol. Buy ticket to Cyprus. Down to left luggage, buy bike box, assemble the box, disassemble the bike, get everything in the box, seal box, wait in check-in, check-in, drop box over at big luggage counter. I check my watch – 15 minutes to flight.
I rush to security and just as I arrive I remember a chunk I bought last night was still with me. I ask the security guard (nicely) if it’s OK that I have it. He says I’m in international territory already please step inside, to the search area. He goes in to tell his boss. Boss comes out and shoos me away. Says get rid of it or I’ll be delayed. Very nice about it. Came back laughing after a while. They’re all having a laugh. I don’t think anyone’s ever asked them that before. I apologize sheepishly, said I forgot it, everyone (security peeps) thinks it’s a total hoot.
They’re going to remember me next time I pass here, what with my flip flops and a Hawaiian shirt you could see from the moon.
I turn back to leave security and back to where I can dispose of the contraband. I start eating it walking along – i’d started earlier. It’s a long walk out of security – I finish eating it before I’m out. I turn back, dump anything I have in a basket for bottles (no liquid on planes) and pass back through. This, of course, in plane sight of all airport security. Looks like I’ve made their day. Everyone in security seems to have heard my story by now and wants to have a bit of fun.
It’s 2.30 – gates closed and I’m just out of security. Passport control. Lady in front has bunch of documents, takes the immigration agent ages to read through and process her. I am bristling but still no panicked announcements about my flight. I’m surprised. I find myself happy to be going to Cyprus.
2.45 Take off. I ask the girl at immigration why the lady ahead took so long. She explains at more length than I care to hear that she was travelling with a child that’s not her own and needs to have proper documentation.
She then goes on to explain that even if one parent has the child there needs to be some kind of documentation that travelling with the child is for a legal purpose.
I think I heard it right.
It reminds me of the American (stripper/dancer/street performer/Red Indian act).
Chief Sitting Mushroom, we called him that on a account of his sitting with his hands tucked in his shirt all that night before last, had explained to me that his ex had taken their kid to Amsterdam and gone out of contact. He’s been trying to reach her for several months.
The length of time she’s had the kid without allowing him legal access(I gather 4 to 6 months) is now approaching a kidnapping charge. She works in the UN and he does not have the resources for a legal battle.
I suggest he writes a complaint to the human resource department of the UN. That should shake things up a bit. I suggest he emails her tells her that’s what he’s going to do, that he’s going to tell human resources at the United Nations that one of their employees has been playing nookie with his kid and she’s practically up for charges. Let her understand that a letter like that goes into her file at UN HR and it’s going to dog her for life. That she needs to drop the shit.
If that don’t work, write HR a formal complaint in such a way it will need to enter her file. A call from HR should get her off her ass.
He told me yesterday just as I was leaving that he’d e mailed her.
All the while the immigration officer is holding my passport, explaining in full detail, and the clock is ticking. I am a aquiver of nerves. Not sure I can get plans b or c to work anymore – I’ll be back in Amsterdam after five. I am going to be stuck in Amsterdam and miss crucial flight connection on the 17th from Cyprus.