becoming the object of analysis

What do these have in common?

Plotting out the overland route from Bangkok to Kathmandu (cross into Vietnam, take train from Vietnam to China, take train to Tibet, then drive across Tibet into Nepal, from where it's only one hour to Kathmandu)

Figuring out the sea-based route from Australia to South-east Asia. Did yous know that freighters can take on (paying and working) passengers, usually from Perth to some port in Indonesia then to Thailand (or India or Singapore or Malaysia)? Well, they do.

There's a ferry service from Esbjerg (Western Denmark) to Harwich (70 miles from London).

Well, they are all ways to avoid flying if, like me, you don't much fancy flying. Okay, that's a mild term, try "if you are absolutely not in favour of and would take any and all alternative routes in order to avoid flying" instead.

So, when I read things like this, it becomes even more scary. Apparently, a couple of passengers on a plane from Spain to England were thought to be terrorists (by the other passengers) and asked to get off the plane. It was all a mistake and, after hours of questioning, the people were released.

But, do keep this in mind: they were asked to get off the plane not because anything suspicious was found on them by proper security folks but because other passengers complained about them. So, these two looked and acted as though they were terrorists. Leaving aside issues of there now (apparently) being a type of person who acts and looks a certain (terrorist) way, the (more) important aspect of this is that certain, perfectly normal (aka terrified of flying) behaviour can be quite similar to "terrorist" behaviour.

Talking about the rising "paranoia" among airline passengers, an airline official says:

"There is a problem here - if people get too paranoid because someone is sweating and sitting white-knuckled because they are afraid of flying, then other passengers sitting nearby are going to think that they're about to explode a bomb."

Umm..if you add "drumming fingers on armrests, buckling and unbuckling the seat belt, checking one's watch constantly and alternatively looking out the window and then straight in front while muttering in a foreign language", that'd be me on a plane.


At 8/23/2006 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ignore the lilsis...that's what they're there for! just do your own stuff and she'll look after herself :)


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