Patdown at ABQ

Whether it was because he was wearing two layers of clothing, Khaki trousers with too many zippers, a combination of the two, or perhaps because someone monitoring the image/information provided by the machine in some backroom saw something else that they liked or didn’t, my father-in-law was chosen to undergo a patdown after going through a body scanner at Albuquerque International Airport last week.

The screener was very professional. Since I let him know that dad didn’t speak English, and that Shanshan needed to translate what he was saying into Chinese, he made sure to explain what was about to happen slowly, clearly, and with pauses for Shanshan to  do  the translation.

There was no groping (undue or otherwise) as far as I was concerned. The screener seemed very respectful.

Still, it was a traumatic experience for dad, mom, and Shanshan.

In talking with Shanshan afterward, she told me that he’d never been through something like this before. And, we’re talking about someone who lived through the Cultural Revolution.

I can certainly say that during my six years of living and traveling around China, I’ve never been subjected to such treatment, or seen something like it take place. I should also mention that the DPRK security in Pyongyang didn’t do a patdown.

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