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Poor Travel Decisions

Three years ago, my wife, her almost 13-year-old son and I went on a trip to the Costa del Sol in southern Spain in order to visit my retired parents. They live in an area where there are no direct flights from the states, so we always look for the best rates via somewhere in Europe.

That particular year, we decided on Royal Air Maroc via Casablanca. Not too shabby for a twelve-year-old to visit Africa. Because of the political tensions in North Africa, security is very stringent. It turns out that there was a high ranking Algerian diplomat visiting Morocco, so security was that much tighter. Lots of machine gun toting guards (they looked barely out of their teens).

We landed in Casablanca without incident, waited the couple of hours for the connecting flight to Malaga and started the hour- long leg to Spain. About halfway across, the windshield of the plane cracked so they turned around and went back to Casablanca for repairs and replacement. We parked the plane some distance away from the terminal and were shuttled in by bus. Our son Derek got on the first bus, while my wife and I got on the somewhat delayed second one. When he realized we were not on his bus, he waited for us on the tarmac. Unfortunately, patrolling guards got to him before the second bus arrived, and they escorted him back to the terminal with their rifles drawn. Imagine that -- a twelve year old surrounding the entire Moroccan army all by himself. Once they ascertained that Derek was not a terrorist, we were all reunited and our vacation started for real.



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