Bags Recovered! Ending My Tel Aviv Ordeal

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Bags Recovered is part of the #NoCollusion, No Albania for TPOL where I break my 100 country count mark. See the World Map for where I’ve been.


Female announcer: Captain Oveur, white courtesy phone. Captain Clarence Oveur, white courtesy phone.

Female announcer: [Oveur picks up the red phone] No, the white phone.

Female announcer: Captain Oveur, white courtesy phone. Captain Clarence Oveur, white courtesy phone.

Captain Oveur: [to announcer] I GOT IT!

Enter Stage Left TPOL:

After being unnecessarily detained by Tel Aviv’s misguided security efforts, I arrived in Warsaw in one piece but without my luggage, my toothbrush charger, my laptop charger, or my Jambox speaker. Tel Aviv security said my bags would come on the next night and that the airline would contact me. Of course, the next night came and went and nobody called. Instead of sitting by the phone, I went on a Warsaw Pub Crawl. The next morning, I called the airport and remarkably someone actually picked up and confirmed that my bags were there. I was told to come to the airport and, like the movies, pick up the white courtesy phone.

And that’s what I did. Moments later, my bags were carted to me. 

I unloaded the boxes and found…! :

That my Jambox had been visibly probed. Many of my friends have told me to get rid of the electronics. They sincerely believe that the items are bugged. I hope they are so that Mr. Prodder can hear – perhaps watch – me dancing and singing to Motown classics while brushing my teeth in the nude.

I took a rare selfie to commemorate the occasion and went back to the hotel. I did a full inventory of my stuff and then an inventory of the experience.

Up to this point, I had stayed calm and ignored the incident. However, seeing my stuff in boxes and seeing my electronics ripped apart really pissed me off. What was the point of being detained, searched, and humiliated? They claimed that my electronics had tested positive. So why didn’t they arrest me? Why would they return the items to me? Those that say that Israel Airport security is playing 3D chess and that their tactics are based on logic are as clueless as those working security. Those that say that this is how Israel stays safe are short-sighted. I understand the volatile situation in Israel. I understand the need to be vigilant and extremely cautious. What I don’t understand is how messing with me or those that have done nothing more than be of Arab descent is an effective security practice. It isn’t. Come up with something better.

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