I’ve gotten used to the extra screening I get selected for when I fly (they’ve had the good grace to stop calling it “random” selection which was offending my CompSci soul). It’s a mixed bag really. There is nothing quite as much fun as being reminded that you’re living in a police state, especially first thing in the morning. On the flip side it is kind of fun to jump the queue. I play a game of monitoring the progress of the person behind me in line. About half the time I make it through security first.

But this morning was different. This morning I forgot my photo ID. (I don’t drive, so it isn’t like I’m actually required to carry it, and frankly I’ve been flying so much lately I must have left it in the pants I was wearing Monday) Ick. I not only got the four red Ss stamped on my boarding pass, but a special red squiggle. Which meant instead of just being sent to the special queue, I got to go to the special room. Interestingly procedures were exactly the same, there was just a door, which I guess meant they thought we were flight risks (no pun intended). Anyway the real novelty was being the only white person in the room.

Still I got to sit there and have an interseting chat with a man from Sri Lanka (who works in “human resources for the garmet industry”, meaning he oversees one of Sara Lee’s sweatshops manufacturing lingerie for Victoria Secrets). We chatted a while about how the number of people living on the streets in Seattle had really shocked him. Nothing quite like having someone from the Global South whose country that has had 30 years of civil war telling you you’ve got a poverty problem.

update: well I made it home proving that it is still possible to fly in this country without a photo id. but I can’t say I would recommend the experience.