EVERY TIME I’VE FLOWN INTO Heathrow in the past year, I’ve made sure to keep copies of my itinerary and the hotels I’d be staying at on hand because I’m not keen on repeating my six-hour detainment in 2009.
I’d only had the street address and e-mail of the people I was staying with; I didn’t have their phone number. (Who uses phones these days?) It was no help that it was the week leading up to the WTO meeting and I hadn’t shaved in months. My beard wasn’t the “oh my god don’t let him on the plane, he’s a terrorist” kind of beard, it was more of the “don’t let him off the plane, he’s a foreign anticapitalist freeloader trying to take advantage of our ailing welfare state” kind of beard.