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Airport Security Stories
Two real and true stories about airport security.
After my wife and I were married we stayed separated while we went through the immigration process. Not too long afterwards she was able to legally come and live in America which consisted of filling out a ton of paperwork, paying lots of money and constant prayer that all would turn out well. And using what little money we had left to buy plane tickets for me to fly there, meet the family and bring her back to officially start our family.
My wife and her family live in Okinawa. A place many call the Hawaii of Asia or as I call it the Japanese version of North Carolina. People there love pork, for that matter Spam but I love the steakhouses. The people are laid back and love to Bar-B-Que at the beach. Overall they have pride. Okinawa was its own country before China took it over then Japan followed by the Americans. In 1972 the American government gave Okinawa to Japan. Okinawans have as much love being under Japanese control as Southern people feel about Northerners.
As I journeyed to Okinawa I had a stopover at Seoul Korea. It was like walking around a Mega Mall in the middle of an airport. I always love coming to this airport for the underground pedestrian walkway connecting many parts of Seoul to the airport. Plus the food venders by the entrances served really great food. A person can literally walk shop and/or eat underground as they go or from the airport. After my two hour layover I was on my way to Okinawa.
Arriving at the Okinawan International Airport we debarked the plane and proceeded to walk across the tarmac to the terminal entrance. Lining up we collected our luggage off the airport carts and entered a building where a man checked our passport and asking the usual questions like: What brings you here?, Business or pleasure. Looking at my passport he asks what brings me here. I pointed over to the swinging doors with huge windows on it and said I was here to see my wife and her family. They were standing on the other side of the door waiting for me. They waved, I waved, heck even the airport guard waved. He stamped my passport and wished me the best.
We left the airport and in a few minutes we were at her family’s home. Across the street where the Yumuri Giants baseball team do their spring training. The place was OK for I was use to Japanese apartments. But I quickly fell in love with their TV set. Widescreen set with duel audio settings. A press of a button can switch between Japanese/ English language or have each language broadcast through separate speakers. And the bathroom which is just like the showers at school as it has a drain in the floor so the water can drain out.
That night we had pizza for dinner. It’s a good thing they asked me if I wanted mayonnaise or not. Needless to say I do not like mayonnaise but many Japanese people do. Over the next few days we did the sightseeing throughout the island looking at a giant Buddha statue, underground tunnels, military bases, street shops and the beaches to name a few. The beaches were very different. One beach set up for tourist had all the luxuries of ski boating, pools by the beach, bridges connecting many small islands together.
The other beach for the locals in my opinion was much better. One beach we went to near American town had a large natural pool. At low tide there was still plenty of water in it so the kids could play as people walked out and collected any fish or other sea life to cook. The men were under the shelter cooking a pig, chicken or fish even vegetables. And right next to these men was a series of beer kegs as they were watching a baseball game on at least two TV sets.
A lot more events took place while we were there but it was time to return to America. As we arrived at the airport we all said our goodbye’s as we waited to walk across the tarmac to board the plane. Her family waiting at the terminal and as we sat in the plane we looked over and her family was still there by the terminal doors waving goodbye to us. Right next to the security guard who listens to my mother in law about her daughter marrying an American.
I have another airport security story similar to this that happened at the J.F.K. International Airport in New York City in 1998.
My wife wanted to drive across country with me so she flew out to New York and joined up with me. A friend of ours used her return ticket to California. A the airport the ticket lady took our friends luggage, checked my wife ID to her flight ticket and after everything was squared away we handed over a plane ticket in my wife’s name to our friend who arrived their safe and sound about six hours later. And my wife and I took our time driving across country on a most relaxing work/holiday adventure.