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Friday, May 9, 2014

Let it go

I'm back in Israel.  I can't say the same for all of my belongings.  Apparently in our new brave world peanut butter has become a dangerous item (and I don't mean because it is a choking hazard).  Or it is if you have more than 4.2 ounces of it in your carry-on.  Of course you can get peanut butter in Israel but it is more expensive so I was bringing some back.  I was stopped at security and they informed me that I was carrying a hazardous item and needed to surrender it.  I would have offered to eat the amount necessary to get down to 4.2 ounces but I didn't think that would end well.  (I have since learned that it wouldn't have helped because the container itself was greater than 4.2 ounces)  The security agent said I could check it but as it's currently $100 to check a second bag I felt that rather defeated the purpose.  Faced with this situation, the following dialogue ensued:

Me:  "Can I give it to one of the workers?"
Security Person: "No.  You have to surrender it, Ma'am."
Me: "Can you donate it to a food pantry, or is there some such program to salvage things that can't make it onto the planes?
Security Person: "No. You have to surrender it, Ma'am.  Do you surrender it?"
Me (as I see/hear the line getting bigger behind me): "Okay, I guess I have to."
Security Person (louder, half-withdrawing the baton from her belt):  "Ma'am, do you surrender the peanut butter?"

What could I do?  I surrendered.  Ironically, at the gate (which in the KC airport is steps away from security) they asked if I would gate check my bag to save space but when I asked if I could go retrieve the peanut butter I was informed that once surrendered, it can not be allowed on the flight.  Even though the surrender was less than 120 seconds before.   Yes, I would describe what I felt as frustration.  But what can you do?  You can't show your frustration to the airport staff.  You have to conceal, don't feel.  Just let it go.

I shudder even now to think of the time when flight attendants used to give us bags of peanuts during the actual flight.  To think what might have happened if we had all gotten together and smashed those peanuts up.  OK, actually I don't know what would have happened and even though I spent a good part of the next 15 hours of travel trying to figure it out I'm afraid that if I were entered into some kind of perverse contest on how to threaten an airplane with 5 ounces of peanut butter, I would never be able to claim the prize.  

I returned for the end of Yom Hazikaron and the start of Yom Haatzmaut.  Unfortunately, jet lag prevented us from attending some parties but we did participate in our local park (courtyard families) ceremony.  Again, jet lag prevented me from understanding much of it but when we sang Hatikvah and raised our flag it was such a joyous feeling.  A and her friend came running down the hill, "Hatikvah, this is my favorite."  Yom Haatzmaut is not really a vegetarian's holiday because it is BBQ city.  We joined friends and had a really nice afternoon.  N made brownies to bring along but used the microwave as a timer which blew out the microwave.  We joked that they were the most expensive brownies ever, but fortunately by the time we returned home the microwave was working again. 

A and I went through a massive pile of unmatched socks and were successful in making at least 20 matches but if you are missing any socks they have likely migrated to our house.  If you happen to live overseas, don't ask me how they hopped the flight----security is pretty tight these days.

Full disclosure:  The baton reference was just literary license.  I thought it would be more dramatic than a taser.  Also, "conceal, don't feel," and "let it go," are references to the movie Frozen.