The woman ahead of me is tired, I can read it in her face. I feel the knots in her shoulders mirrored in my own.
Her daughter yanks on her mother's handbag for attention, and it slides further down her arm. “Ssssshh, hold on love, we just have to wait for a bit.”
The customs officials has a blank expression; bored or arrogant, it's hard to tell.
He holds up two newly purchased water bottles, still sealed and shiny.
“Is this yours or for the child?”
She looks puzzled. “It’s for my daughter. it's for the flight.”
He looks even more supercilious. He is better than everyone else here,he is certain of it.
“Why? How old is she ma’am?” The 'Ma’am’ is tacked on, a careless afterthought.
With no reaction on his face, no apology or explanation, he holds them aloft for a second, between fingers and thumbs, and then drops them in the rubbish bin.
“Next please” as he pushes the woman’s bags into the Xray, and with no word from either the mother or her daughter, they move quietly through the metal detector, collect their bags and walk slowly off to their gate.
I wonder if a 7 yr old could have kept the water?
At what age is it still acceptable to need fresh cool water?