Not literally – but the spirit of the TSA is flourishing abroad, just as paranoid as here but without the friendly smile you sometimes get from TSA employees.
Last month I wrote about how airport security in Brussels searched inside the waistband of my older son’s pants. I realize they’ve got to be thorough, but my goodness, the Bear is nine years old.
This week, on our way out of Europe, officials in Berlin decided we had a suspicious amount of electronics in our carry-ons. They informed us that they’d need to check several of our bags for explosives. And then they ordered both my husband and me to come with them.
We said, “Um, our kids are nine and six. You aren’t seriously suggesting we leave them here alone at the gate?”
Yes, they were.
My husband and I said, no. That won’t work. And we repeated it until finally the guard said huffily, “Well, if your husband can carry all the bags, then you can stay here.” By then the Bear was in tears.
Are we feeling safer yet?
Update 7/26/09: In comments, Sora points out that Southeast Asia, where she’s traveled extensively, wouldn’t treat kids this way. So maybe this sort of misbehavior is peculiar to the Western world.