“May I See Your Passport”

By Nakeisha Brownlee

**Layover in Amsterdam** The gate agent approaches my row while I am struggling to wrap my body in the one-size-fits-most blanket that the airline provides – because my body is telling me that it is 3:00am.

Photo on 6-10-13 at 1.44 PM #2

“Ms. Nake… Brownlee” ~ the agent struggles with my name.  But I knew she was speaking to me. ~ “May I see your passport?”

Those five words immediately brought my body and mind to local time and made me remember EVERYTHING that occurred from the time I pulled my suitcases from under my bed for packing, to that very moment.  The first thing that came to mind was “I should have never had that conversation with that Ghanaian man at the Atlanta-Hartsfield terminal, he planted something in suitcase…I’m going to jail…I know the gate agent in Amsterdam mentioned kilos, but I could have sworn she was talking about the weight of my bag”.  In any case…

With my back up against the window, I confidently hand her my passport (even though there was a deep rooted fear in my stomach) and ask “Is everything ok ma’am”?  Apparently they needed more information on my destination and where I’d be staying.  So being the prepared traveler that I am, I scroll quickly through my phone (I’ve never witnessed my thumbs move so fast) to locate the requested documents – she steps away…when she returns she informs me that everything is ok and she no longer needs the information.


Sooooo you just decided to cause me to experience a mild heart attack in a country where Kaiser doesn’t cover…oh ok

Saying all that to say ~ HELLO SOUTH AFRICA!!! I have arrived…



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