We went through immigration and at the biometric check point Altine’s passport was not swiping. She went through for the second time when the immigration officer already exhausted looked at the biometric page and at her sternly as if to make sure her face was what was on the photo in the passport. He handed it back to a confused Altine. I had to chip in, “Sir, what happened?”
The man frowned and gestured with a shrug to say, “Nothing, sometimes it does that,” he said referring to the machine. I wanted to laugh out loud as we walked to the next window, that machine eversince it was installed had never worked correctly and I wondered why they didn’t either have it permanently fixed or replaced! The security was thorough as our hand luggage was checked.
As the security woman patted me down she said cheerfully, “Aunty, safe journey o,” I knew what she was all about as I responded with a thank you and then it happened, she whispered to me,“Aunty, as you’re traveling so, anything for us?” I neither smiled nor responded. I would not oblige her subtle way of begging. At the final security point as our hand luggage slid through the scanner, the security man beamed a mega watt smile to openly ask me, “Madam, I remain loyal o. Anything for the boys?” It was then that I lost it!