Sunday, July 20, 2008


English first/日本語は英語の後

Now, it's time to fly to Lisbon. The first event didn't wait so long but rather came quickly right before my departure from the hotel. I reset my suitcase's combination to 000 and tried to make sure if it worked. The suitcase couldn't open with 000! How about 001, 999, 002, or more other combinations? Nothing worked. Anyway, my wife and son's departure time was noon, and we had to go to the airport. While they were checking in, and furthermore while I was seeing them of at a security point, I had to keep moving my hands to check different combinations all the way to 999. So, no sentimental atmosphere to say good-bye to them. I finally dropped by an information desk, then visited a bag storage, and at last asked a TSA agent for a help. He took me to an over-sized baggage check-in desk where another TSA agent opened my suitcase quickly as saying "oh, that's easy". The right combination was 008 which I actually tried, but he pointed out that I had to keep locking the side keys when changing a combination.

Honestly, it was my first time to appreciate TSA and respect them as professionals. But at the same time, I've felt that breaking suitcase combinations is really easy to them like Japanese sayings: a job before breakfast or twisting a baby's hand.

いよいよ出発となりましたが、それほど待つことなく最初の出来事がやってきました。ホテルで自分のスーツケースの組合せ番号を000に戻して、ちゃんと開くかどうか試してみたところ、鍵が開かなくなってしまったのです。001, 999, 002と試してみたのですが、駄目です。カミさんと息子の出発がお昼なので、とりあえず空港に向かいました。彼らがチェックインする間も、手荷物検査所で見送るときも、ずっと私の手はスーツケースの組合せ番号を変えるのに必死で、センチメンタルな気分でさようならを言うにはほど遠い感じでした。結局999まで試した後、案内所に向かい、次に手荷物預かり所に行き、最後はTSA(手荷物検査の係員)をつかまえて助けを求めることになってしまいました。大きい荷物の預け口にいた別の係員が、これは簡単と言いながら、すぐにスーツケースを開けてくれたのですが、番号は008でした。自分でも試した番号なのですが、係員が言うには、両脇の鍵を施錠しながら番号を変えないと上手く行かないのだそうです。


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