Thursday, September 07, 2006

Airport Myths

The past two weeks I spent in three different time zones, and 4 full days were spent in aircrafts and airports. That’s what happens when one chooses to live 6671 miles away from their hometown.

I am now completely jet-lagged in the most odd way, as I never quire had the time to get used to any time zone I visited in particular: 4 days in NYC, 8 days in Israel is not enough to get adjusted to any time zone really. The result is interesting, and includes headache, fatigue, a very minor head cold – all very minor issues, but altogether they make want to wear no perfume whatsoever at the moment.

So, instead of reviewing perfumes or telling you about the amazing scents of summer, I decided to dedicate this post to the amusements of airport security, duty free hassles and airplane discomforts – or to be more precise – break a few myths around the current security craze that is happening in the world.

Myth no. 1: (which was the most scary one for me) - I will die from thirst on the airplane. Not true. They did let me bring on my empty water bottle, which the airplane crew kindly refilled as much as I needed. No need to worry there.

Myth no. 2: The most ridiculous one – you can’t buy in the Duty Free shops. Not true at all. Everything is absolutely as usual in the duty free shops. You buy whatever you want – perfumes, booze or anything else liquid, flammable and dangerous and suspicious – and they bring it to the gate (not any different from the duty free I remembered from the golden days pre the security craze).

Myth no. 3: You can’t take any body care products on the plane. Well, this is sort of true. You can’t take large bottles of your facial moisturizers and hand creams etc. (some clever airlines carry a steady supply of these in their lavatories on the aircrafts). But, when cleverly packed, and carelessly left in the bag, one might find themselves carrying to the aircraft convenient sizes of toothpaste (a much appreciated product on a 12 our or so Trans-Atlantic flights), and even more carelessly – long purse sprays of floral hydrosols and Le Parfum de Therese and even a sample vial of Chinatown. If Therese can pass security in a US airport, I think other things can. I neglected to pack it in the suitcase, and didn’t notice I had it there until I arrived to Tel Aviv. I wouldn’t have risked losing any drop of Therese (not even a tiny purse spray) so this was just a happy accident… (don’t tell anybody, though!). And so on the way back (a much longer flight of 18 hours) I decided to not part with some essential (yet very disposable) items: miniature supplies of toothpaste, lip-balm, and rose and neroli hydrosols. The latter were packed (like Therese) in elongated plastic purse atomizers and were probably mistaken for pens on the X-Rays. Very sneaky. And also hydrating and rejuvenating on such a journey.

On anther note, I have lived to see liquid medications (i.e. your much-needed cough syrup, anti-eczema cream or a humble supply of less than 4 oz. of Calamine Lotion) pass security as long as the person did not try to be too suspicious about it. The calamine lotion was passed by yours truly after spending the last 4 days before departure at my mother’s house in the country, where her skin was bitten by any possible bug on the shores of the Mediterranean. I boarded the airplane looking very much like a teacher covered with chalk-water, so I think the evidence spoke for itself...

While all these were positive surprises, I came back only to find that quite a few of the sample packs I sent (usually sent in modest bubble-wrap envelopes, requiring only a couple of postal stamps) were returned due to unexpected changes in customs regulations: anything that is not a tiny letter in en envelope is now required to be sent as a small package with a full customs form. Unfortunately, this means that from now on I will not be able to send my sample packs free of charge, but will have to charge a modest sum of $5 to cover the costs of shipping.

I will return after gaining more sleep and losing some itch, with reviews of cheerful and summery scents such as Ananas Fizz, Songes, Fire Island and Comptoir Sud Pacifique's orignal Tiare – and an article about the scents of summer in the Middle East. Until than – be well and enjoy whatever is left of summer.

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At September 07, 2006 10:45 AM, Blogger Victoria said...

Humm I was wondering about those small packets and how you managed w/o customs forms. Too bad.

I wish I had known about it sooner I would have been sending small flat packs to my northern friends. :O/

Maybe it was on Canada to USA though and not vice versa.


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