How to get funny looks from the TSA…


I feel like I could write a book on this topic… I do not have any more security checkpoints to go through between now and Nome, so I feel It is safe to post.

Take One: ‘Moving to Nome 2009’ The first time I made the trip to Nome I had a sewing machine as my carry-on and backpack full of back full of kitchen appliances for my ‘personal item’. My sewing machine was wiped down for explosives several times, my grain mill was taken apart, and they called someone important down to inspect the pieces. They confiscated two bobbins and the needle out of my machine. Afterwards I vowed never to take such strange things through security again.

Take Two: ‘Returning after long adventure’ I must not have learned my lesson because I once again have a sewing machine for a carry on. Only this time I have gotten even stranger looks as it is packaged in a quickly deteriorating cardboard box, plastered with Chinese warning stamps, and is nearly entirely made of cast iron (which apparently x-ray machines love!)

It went something like this: Scan box… Ask what is in the box…Scan the box again…Call someone else over and scan the box again…Open box and see that it is actually a sewing machine but take everything out anyways…Swab for explosives…Leave and tell me not to go anywhere… come back with a handbook…Chat with another guard about something… Ask me why I have / need such a thing… remove needle… return machine and packing material to box… send me on my way.

Also, as my personal item… A bag full of yarn, kaleidoscopes, and a ukulele.  I try to keep a straight face when I go through security, but its hard knowing that I am the girl these guards are going to make fun of in the lunch room.

It doesn’t matter, the adventures I have had with this sewing machine so far make the whole ordeal worth it. And the yarn is a knitting is a completely necessary effort towards preserving my sanity.


About globalmargaret

I am a Mid-Western college graduate who signed a contract on a whim last April. The contract took me to Nome, Alaska where I presently live and work. I love nature, hiking, good food, music, ukulele, knitting, sewing, anything creative, and just being still

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