We had to make a trip to the American Embassy in Frankfurt in order to update the girls’ passports, which were getting too close to expiration to use for our upcoming travel plans. We had made an effort to update their passports several months earlier when we visited the states, but were disappointed to learn that we had to re-furnish the girls’ original birth certificates. Long story short—the originals were packed away in another state—and we were out of luck on our short time schedule.
Anyhow, back to the American Embassy in Frankfurt—we learned that it is a well-oiled machine, albeit a bit of an annoying one. You must make an appointment to enter, and appointments must often be made weeks in advance. When you arrive, you must queue up outdoors, and one-by-one you walk to a window (reminiscent of a ticket booth) where they confirm your appointment, and make sure you’ve brought with you a pre-stamped, pre-addressed mailing envelope (for mailing whatever it is you might be after back to you). After going through that slow screening process, you then enter a door and pass through typical TSA-style security with a metal detector and bag search.
I never set off metal detectors, so I had nothing to fear. My pockets were empty, I was wearing my typical wood watch, no metal belt, no clunky shoes, no keys, nothing! Home free!
So I thought.
But this time, the detector went off.
Frustrated, I took off my watch and made sure there was nothing else on me or in my pockets. I went through that intimidating archway again.
Grrr. Meanwhile, the security guy was looking at me like I was a criminal, and I couldn’t figure out what could be setting it off. I assured him there was nothing in my pockets.
At least I didn’t think so.
Finally, I dug a little deeper in my jeans pockets and came up with….you guessed it…some nail clippers—small enough to not even be noticed when I was patting down my own pockets.
The ultimate weapon of a criminal.
The guard looked at me like I was a doofus, took my clippers and my name (for later retrieval), and finally let me through. Doh! Jared just snickered. He’s always been baffled at my ability to inadvertently carry things in my pockets without noticing.
The rest of our visit went without a hitch, but of course I didn’t dare take photos—even outside. Who wants to mess with the American government? Not I.
Afterwards, we rewarded the kid’s patience with a trip to a local indoor swimming center, Rebstockbad. It was a fantastic facility! It had some great indoor slides, was not crowded at all, and we enjoyed our afternoon away.
All-in-all, I’d say the Embassy run was (mostly) a success!
Have you ever been caught with something dumb in a security check?