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I chose the picture of the young lady above, as she represents a bit of this weeks subject, RULES! A couple of years ago, I travelled with my partner on a trip to places afar, for a short break. Always wanting to ‘do the right thing’ (stupidly of course), I asked the lady at the airport information desk if it was OK for me to use my camera within the terminal, or outside or even on the plane. She informed me that I could take pictures of my partner and myself, as long as we were against a blank wall only and not showing any part of the terminal building, that could identify it as being an airport. She also said that if I did take pictures of anything else, inside or out, my camera would be ‘confiscated’ and probably not ever returned! I asked why that was and she just said “Well you did ask”. I noticed people all over the airport pointing their cameras and mobiles all over the place, taking pictures of this and that and not following any such ‘rules’. I thought it was a bit rude of her to talk to me like that, when I had asked so politely and felt sure that she just didn’t like the look of me! As everyone else was getting away with it. I see that it is getting more difficult to do exactly what I was asking to do, due to terrorism these days. However, what I probably would have had pictures of, would have been a few walls and seats, maybe the odd poster or two, which were only adverts and were all over the country anyway and even on TV! Also, I may have caught a shot or two, of say a Boeing 737 or possibly an Airbus A320 and they are ‘top secret’ aircraft which no-one has ever seen before, aren’t they? Cynical? Who, me? Well maybe a bit.
Also, the rules aboard aircraft are very strict, but again, are mostly ignored. You should have your mobile or camera either turned off, or on ‘flight mode’ or any other such device that can send or receive things, until you land I suppose. I noticed on my most recent trip though, that no-one takes the slightest notice of these rules and people were simply ‘covering up’ their mobiles, while playing games or sending messages as the cabin crew walked past, in the same way that naughty schoolchildren cover up their funny drawing of the size of their teacher’s nose etc. You aren’t supposed to film the take-off or landing of the airplane either, as this would mean having the device switched on, when it should be switched off, or so I have been told. I see however, that there is one chap who seems to fly everywhere in the whole world and even has a YouTube channel, where he posts videos of all of these flights! (There are also thousands of other such videos, by many different people). Yet he obviously hasn’t been to my local airport ever, as they would simply confiscate his camera and throw him in jail! Or so I have been led to believe. (I think the rules aboard aircraft are meant to stop airplanes crashing, due to all these signals interfering with instruments or something. I think if planes were crashing and people dying from it, then MAYBE they would do as they are told)? So maybe that’s just another ‘line’ they feed us. Maybe.
I can understand that we must have rules and I (boringly) follow most of them. We don’t want terrorists getting hold of any secret information about a small, regional airport now, do we? I’m sure there could even be something that they shouldn’t see. But if these ARE strict rules that must be obeyed at all times, then WHY aren’t they being upheld and adhered to?
On a slightly lighter note, On the earlier trip of I which I spoke, my partner who is a wheelchair user, had been told to wait at the side of the bit where everyone has to go through the sort of X-ray machine. Having been put right in view of one of the observers screens, she was having a rare old time apparently and told me later that, when people pass through it, she could see an awful lot more of each person than you are led to believe! These machines seemingly leave nothing to the imagination as, when I went to retrieve her, having had my ‘go’ in this machine, she had quite a red face! I just hope that there aren’t any weirdos applying for this job, as they would be getting paid for ‘peeping’ as it were! The other implications of this are many and varied, but I don’t even like to think about them!
Oh well, must fly. Please have all passports, boarding passes and selfie-sticks at the ready!