Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Travel hassles

We're nearing the end of this whirlwind, multi-flight trip and things have gone amazingly smoothly. so I shouldn't complain about anything. And I'm not. Not really, anyhow.

But spending a lot of times in American airports after doing so much traveling throughout China gives you pause, makes you wonder which place is a police state and which is a first world country.

In China, we have more or less the same security procedures, though they don;t make you take your shoes off. But somehow you come out of it feeling less abused, less sullied -- less like the whole thing is a stupid, pointless exercise. there's nothing like walking by the back of a security line and watching old ladies being wanded.

I stumbled on this post on a NY Times travel blog that summed up my feelings about the security procedures in US airports:

And the infrastructure? Well, it's no news at this point that America could use some infrastructure work, but the airports...man, they can be bad. Overcrowded, crumbling, poorly designed, having to pay for luggage carts, elevators too small to fit large bags. Man, we need to get it together. China is leaving us in the dust in this regard.

On the other hand, it is a really, really nice feeling when you come through customs and the officer stamps the passports, hands them back and says, "welcome home." I can;t imagine that feeling will ever change. As much as I enjoy living in China, I do feel like kissing the ground when I come back here. Despite any and all, it remains my holy land.