Monday, December 10, 2012


Suitably dazed, changing planes in the dead of the night at Changi Airport en route from Kolkata to Sydney, I was about to enter the Security Area for checks for my onward flight when I noticed a young woman wrestling an unruly suitcase from a baggage trolley.

I was about the offer assistance when her suitcase burst open, dumping toiletries and small items of clothing across the truly pristine Singaporese carpet acreage. I did offer help then, but, embarrassed, she said it was okay, and I nodded and meandered on into the Security Area.

We met up a few moments later in the queue, and she thanked me for offering to help. She was a fellow Australian, on her way home from Europe. We chatted on a minute or two, with her explaining that she had she had opened her suitcase a few minutes before that in an airport bathroom, and forgotten to close it, and I nodded and said things like that happened to me all the time too.

She said the problem had also occurred because she never read signs properly, and had not noticed the “No Trolleys” sign outside the Security Area, and had been turned back when she reached the head of the line and the officers at the X-ray machine. I concurred again that that sort of thing happened to me a lot too.

At that moment I reached the head of the queue, and the officer at the X-Ray machine said “I’m sorry sir, but you’ll have to take your trolley back outside the Security Area, and line up again.”

The woman behind me laughed and apologised. “I just hadn’t noticed you had a trolley…”

Neither, of course, had I.

Somehow my bag did not split open as I unloaded it from the trolley a few moments later, and rejoined the queue, at the end of the line.