Do I look like a terrorist ? :-(

It happened last year right on my birthday…29 of July 2004.
when Boston was full of the cops,TVs and protesters during that time as there was a Democratic National Convention going on by John Kerry the candidate for the US President Election.

After one month in a home of red sox,I decided to leave Boston on my birthday to San diego to visit other friends. The reason was a bit silly.Well,Since San diego is on the west coast while boston is the east coast,if I fly back to san diegoon that night,I could have more hours of my 29of July to celebrate with my folks in SD as time is different about 3hours between the west and the east:-)

My friend drove me to Boston Airport. We were both quiet since it was the last day for us..ok!! let’s skip the cheesy scene… I said good bye to my friend,loaded my luggage…and then the fun time was about to start…

After the security checked my passport(with a picture of a dark-skin boy), a few minutes later, one big security guard came to me and said,

” Excuse me ,sir!!. Please follow me overhere.

” Sh** ” ,I shouted out loud in my mind.

I was asked to leave the queue and sit next to the scanning machine,watching all the passengers who were going to take the same flight with me. Nobody talked to me or gave me a reason why I had to do and I was afraid to ask them “why”.

So, I just sit there…and wondered what’s wrong with me…I was very scared…hmmmm….what is going on here?

About 30 minutes later, I assumed that all the passengers were seated:as i’d seen nobody there). Eventually ,one of the security came to me and apologised. He walked with me to my seat. Finally,I decided to ask him the”W” word.

“I’m sorry ,sir. ” Why did I have to wait that long? Do I look like a terrorist? ..

10 seconds with silence ,I realized that was a real mistake. Everyone stared at me and a security.

I started to laugh ridiculously, pretended it was my big joke.

“I was just joking”,that’s the best I could say.

“Oh my… this is stupid”, I shouted loudly in my mind for a second time.

The security gave me a bad look as same as others.It was just a memorable birthday for me.

I told my frends in san diego about what happened. They all laughed at me and told me ” terrorist” is a forbidden word for Boston airpot. He mention the 9/11 and the interesting fact about boston airport.

“Don’t you know the flight that hit WTC building came from Boston Aitport”,my best friend Brian gave me a big clue.

“Oh…”. yes,that’s all i could say.

Stupid thai boy!!… That ‘s really me…:-)

I am now back at my beloved country” Thailand”.It’s been one year already. No more “Jeep a terrorist”
For my birthday this year, instead of being a terrorist ,I ‘ll have exam right on that day.. and that terrified me a lot more!!!…lol

Sawaddee Krub:-)

9 responses to “Do I look like a terrorist ? :-(

  1. I can tell you too that US security is really tight and takes any mention of the words “terrorist” or “bomb” very seriously, even landing one British woman (I think) in really hot waters.

    Anyway, chohk dee on your return trip and exams na kha.

  2. Thanks for the blog, Jeep, and welcome to the community.

    It was interesting to read about your story with the US immigration officers, but I’m still trying to find something in it that has to do anything with Thailand, this being

    Don’t feel too bad though; your goverment treats foreigners no better at the Thai borders. The only difference is, the discrimination happens not due to skin color, but due to country of birth (ie where your passport is from).

    You can read my story about Thai immigration officers in the archives. I hope it will make you feel better about your situation.

    Looking forward to your views on Thai matters. Cheers, ~

  3. Sawasde Krab Jeep,

    Sorry about your bad experience at Boston airport. If it makes you feel any better whenever I fly home to Alabama where I am from to see my family I always get searched and have to go through the extra hassle everytime at the Birmingham, Alabama ‘International’ (haha) Airport..that’s a joke because ALL flights that are international go through our neighbor city Atlanta so why Birmingham wants to sound important by calling themselves an I’ntl airport is beyond me.

    Anyways, I’m a 6’1 very white, very American looking American but I get the extra eye on me too everytime without fail. Maybe it’s because I fly back home to Washington, DC where I live. Interestingly enough I never get this much hassle IN DC. My point being you never know what criteria they follow to suspect and screen passengers although they WERE rather improper to detain you in front of everyone like that for so long and not say anything to you at all.

    Siamjai – I get what your saying that his blog could have been more ‘on target’ for Thai-Blogs. Perhaps if Jeep wrote more about his impression on this event as regarding his race and skin that made him feel as a Thai..that would be more on target for here I think IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)

    As it were, chin up khun Jeep. Good blog to read anyway, if you ever come back to the US and want to visit Washington, DC let me know. If I am still in America at that time I would be happy to host you as a guest and be your guide in my city and show you a better time than in cold Boston definately.

    Phop gun mai na


  4. I just inferered this was good for Thai blogs, as it was a Thai persons experience in America. Even here in the US the Islamic unrest in the Southren proviences is reported in our papers.

    Before 9/11 my old (70+) mother was detained and searched in Atlanta one time for arousing the suspescion of airport security.

  5. Thank you for every comments krub:-)
    Now I feel like writing more!!
    This is my first one,so I just wanted to write something easy but fun.
    Also,that story was my first trip abroad so it gave me a lots of inspiration to write about it.
    Thank u this blogs and nice to meet evryone here krub:-)

    Choke Dee Krub

  6. Hi Jeep,

    Man, that sucks. I was picked a few times for the shoe search. It’s that 1/8 of Iranian blood in me I guess. Heh.

    On a similar note, also pre-9/11, a Thai friend of mine went down to Mexico with a bunch of his friends. The border was much more open then, so Thai student like him slipped back in with a valid California ID as a proof. The dude was stopped this time on his way in on the account that he looked “Mexican”.

    Took them about an hour at the border to figure out that he REALLY couldn’t speak Spanish, and therefore couldn’t possibly be an illegal Mexican immigrant trying to come in to the US. Somehow he managed not to get caught for not having proper visa to leave/enter the US. Heh.

  7. Don’t ever joke of being a terrorist! It is very serious, especially in Southeast Asia today.

    Do you know that everyday, people are dying in South Thailand because of terrorist activities. I only dread if these bloodshed will spread beyond Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

    What happens if Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur becomes the next target?????

  8. Thank u for your comment krub Khun Kitjar.
    I totally understand the terrorist situation in the south. I am originally from the south and spent 3 years for my highschool in Pattani. So I know how bad the situationt is right now.Moreover,some of my family live all over that dangerous zone. So it would never be a joke really. SO i guess,you might have misunderstood my point,krub

    My story was just about my own experience which I wanted to share and it definitely shows how much I disagree about the terrorist thing beause obviously, it effected to me by being suspended like that .

    Anyway, I don’t have any intention to point out my story about the terrorist topic. The only main idea is just an experience of a Thai boy who handled that tough situation alone in the land that is half way around the world from his home…that’s all I wanted to talk aout:-).. krub

  9. Hi. Ha ha – it is very different here. One day in Bangkok I went to get on to a flight to Malaysia (I think) and I forgot to take my swiss army knife out of my pocket. It was picked up at the Xray machine and I was asked if I wanted to keep it. I did as it was a present and engraved. I was told to sit down and wait. i waited for a long time and then an official Thai man in a suit came to me. He said open my bag. I did. I thought he was going to search my bag again. But instead he reached into his pocket and pulled out my knife and slipped it into my bag. Don’t forget to put it in the hold luggage next time – he said and I wai-ed and thanked him and got on the plane with my knife.

    Ha ha – obviously I do not look like a terrorist.