Sir surprised me yesterday and told me I was travelling with him to San Diego. This has not been totally unusual in the past, but our schedules seldom meshed. Now, since I am unemployed, I can travel with him any time he wishes.
The kicker is, of course, that I am now in the 24/7 enclosure regimen. I was quite concerned about trying to get on board an aircraft without breaking my regimen and uncovering my face in public.
Over the last five weeks since we started this on Dec 1, I have not shown my face to anyone except Sir and our maid who helps me dress. I have actually become very comfortable with wearing the burqa in public and the thought of showing up at an airport with a naked head was unpleasant.
Sir questioned a couple of TSA workers last week and they said that there would be no problem. Sir described me as a devoout muslim woman and they said that because it is a religious practice to cover myself completely, I would not have to show my face and I could have a private search if I wanted. But there was still a wrinkle.
Before you go thru the metal detector, you must first show photo ID and boarding pass when you enter the security line. The people checking this are often NOT TSA. They are airport employees and are not given the sensitivity training TSA is. Sir asked three of these people as he was travelling and got three different answers. One woman said I woould HAVE to show my face or she would never let me through. Another said that no, they would skip the ID check if I was veiled for religious reasons. The third said they didn't know.
So Sir asked the ticket agent what to do and the airline came up with a solution. before we arrived at the airport, I was placed in a white open face rubber hood from my nun's habit. That makes it look rather like a muslim hijab...the scarf-like head covering many muslim women wear. Then I had to wear my burqa over that. i wasn't completly happy with this because my face was still exposed. but at least no one cold see it while I was in the burqa.
You need to understand that I have been wearing a full face covering hood (or two) virtually consinuously since Dec 1. I have become very comfortable with my new status and not having tight rubber across my face felt WEIRD! But we felt we had to do this in case a photo ID was going to be checked.
Sir took me to the electronic checkin kiosk and we got boarding passes...no ID required. But then he went to the ticket counter and explained that I was not allowed to show my face ... we would need a little help getting into the security queue. A very nice ticket agent explained it to the lady checking IDs and she went and spoke to a TSA agent.
The TSA agent came up and said it was not a problem. I could accompany her to a private area and lift my veil long enough for her to check my ID. this is what Sir had expected and why I wore an open faced hood. She took me behind a curtain and I raised the burqa enough for her to check my ID. Then she escorted me back to Sir.
She could NOT have been more professional and sensitive. She did NOT try to speak with me or have me speak because Sir explained I was not to speak to strangers. She took two seconds to verify my face against my passport and handed it back to me with a smile. I covered myself again and she didn't even seem surprised that my head covering under the burqa was white latex. or that my dress was black rubber too.
I passed through the metal detector, holding the burqa close to me to keep it from touching the sides and Sir follwoed with our carry ons. I was then asked to step aside and to be specially wanded and my carry ons searched. Sir had anticipated this and there was no issue. He told them I would want this done in private and they took me behind another screen. I had actually arrived at the airport in just a pair of rubber swim shoes so these could be taken off...they gave me no hassle about my rubber stockings.
We had to show boarding passes to two other people, but did NOT have to show ID any further. The whole ID thing was merely an extra 2 minutes.
The airline lounge staff showed no surprised at all to see a burqa'd woman and we waited the 2 hours before our flight in comfort. But first I had a task to perform. Sir pulled my knee high rubber boots and two hoods from his carry on and sent me to the ladies room to put them on so I would be properly covered for the flight.
I went to the ladies room and only mildly startled a woman who was at the lavatory as i wafted past and into a stall holding th eboots and a coule of hoods. The hoods went over the white open faced hood and were both black. The first one was a full face hood with eyes nose and nouth holes from DeMask. The second hood was one of my mouthless hoods with a small penis gag that covers my face but prevents speech. I don't usually wear these in public, but Sir said he had made that choice to insure my silence on the plane.
The flight was delayed by an hour so I had to sit at the gate for a while. That wasn't too bad, but there were some children travelling with parents and THEY were very interested in the lady in her shiny covering. They didn't come over though, I did see one mother talking to a little girl probably about 7 or 8 years old and looking up at me from time to time.
When we finally stepped onto our flight and settled in our seats (in first class) I was properly encased again and very comfortable. The flight attendants were polite and I had a very nice flight of about 2 hours duration. We deplaned and waited a while for our luggage. I did get MANY stares both on the plane and in the concourse. Sir made ME take the aisle seat so that people going up and down the aisle would see me. But, as usual, no one said anything to me and even the flight attendants seemed to understand that I could not speak to them.
After we had our luggage, we went out to the taxi queue which, tonight, was in pouring rain. I think I was actually envied by many of the passengers since my "rain burqa" was perfectly suited for the very unseasonal rainstorm here in San Diego.
Checking in at the hotel was no problem. Again, I got lots of starees, but no comments. Sir even met a couple of people he knew and mentioned that he had brought his wife, but I just stood behind him as I have been trained to do. We then went up to our room and I unpacked, changed into evening rubber and we went to dinner. Of course, at dinner (a very nice steak place) I stood behind his chair while he ate. I was fed later here in the room.
I don't know what tomorrow's schedule is...It would be interesting to attend the conferecne like this, but I do not know what he intends. I guess I'll find out later. Now it is time for bed.