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Airport service - unmitigated audacity
November 16th, 2009
02:24 am
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Airport service
I left Copenhagen for Portland (via Chicago) today. I went through the motions of check-in and security as usual, got some US cash from a bank at the airport, and headed for the SAS lounge - I had a couple of emails I wanted to do, and a document I had to send in paper mail. I wrote out my paper letter, asked put it in an envelope and addressed it. I had time for a coffee and then headed for the gate. At the exit of the lounge I wanted to ask where I could find a postbox to drop the letter, but as soon as the woman at the counter saw me holding it she offered to post it for me; I didn't even to use the stamp I had bought.

I headed for the gate, and I was one of the last passengers to show up. However, I was singled out for a random security check, so I had to step into a side room, where they ran my carry-on luggage through a scanner again, asked me to take out and show them every single piece of electronics (laptop, cellphone, camera, Kindle), and to turn each on and show it to be working (I always wonder in situations like that what happens if your camera is out of battery). They also went through my bag manually, going over every item.

They were quite thorough. They were also, however, very pleasant and kind. No drama at all, good atmosphere, bit of chit-chat. Most of the conversation was about my kindle. But of the women doing the check were very interested in the Kindle, so we had a nice talk about usability, how it works for long flights (wonderful), the selection of books (ho-hum), the selection of books in Danish (ha!), and the fact that Amazon wants you to sign over rights to your firstborn in return for use of the device. They had both heard about the latter and wanted to hear my view; they were clearly skeptical about the Kindle because of it, saying that they were waiting for other devices with better policy to come out. This is a really good sign - it's not just geeks not liking the amazon business model - and something Amazon needs to worry about if they want to stay in command of the market.

It's the 3rd time I've been taken out for random security check (not much, considering how much I travel), and all have been easygoing and pleasant. I remember once in Toronto, a smiling security officer looking at me as I was approaching the security check, saying with a grin "and you, Sir, will be my random security check for today" - before seeing any papers, and so before even knowing who I was.

Current Location: OHR, Chicago, IL
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From:selki
Date:November 16th, 2009 12:06 pm (UTC)
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This is a really good sign - it's not just geeks not liking the amazon business model - and something Amazon needs to worry about if they want to stay in command of the market.

Excellent!
From:ossobucco
Date:November 16th, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
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They were nice to you in Toronto???? Wow. You were lucky. Canadian border guards are never nice.
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From:surelars
Date:November 16th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
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She was very nice, yes. Though, I think she was probably airport security, not a border guard. But then, I foolishly thought all Canadians are nice - that's been the experience I've had the few times I've been fortunate to visit.
From:ossobucco
Date:November 16th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
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Well, we're certainly polite ...

By far, I've found our border guards to be the grumpiest around.
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From:lcohen
Date:November 17th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
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my limited experience this summer was that the border guards were polite going in both directions. i last crossed the border in a car in 1985 before that (!) and i have no recollection of problems with the crossing but that's hardly current data, anyway. i'm sure you have more data points, i'm just confirming that it is possible to find perfectly nice border guards.

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From:drj0402
Date:November 16th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC)

Welcome to Portland!

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I highly recommend the Chinese Classical Garden http://www.portlandchinesegarden.org/

Or if the weather is good, try taking the silver jelly bean up to OHSU to get a view of the city.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/portland-aerial-tram-portland#hrid:lAqApPsX1voeLgCxrV8Hdw
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From:surelars
Date:November 16th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)

Re: Welcome to Portland!

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Thanks! The Aerial Trams looks like a lot of fun; I really like seeing cities from above.
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