Welcome to India!

15mm by 10mm mosaic - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Flying with all my mosaic materials is sometimes fraught with anxiety. If my case doesn't make it, I'd be left with needing to replace all my work materials, at great expense. Some of the gold leaf mosaic I use are no longer in production, or were a vintage score, so these are irreplaceable. Add to this that the gold leaf makes the x-ray scanners go crazy, so my case also gets opened EVERY time by security. When I travel with the tile carry on, it's a complicated process to explain what exactly all these little pieces are for, and why they set off the sensors, so I usually check the work gear, leaving the security folks to figure it out themselves. 

India was a bit different. Enroute from Sri Lanka to Goa, India, I had a stopover in Chennai. I'm waiting at my gate, when a stunningly beautiful woman in a bright sari comes up to me and asks, "Miss Margo?". Upon confirming it's me, she tells me they have to look in my bag, and a man will be coming to take me to be present for this. Apparently they can't open your case to examine it without you there. So I wait another ten minutes, and a man shows up. He takes me into the veritable bowels of the airport. I have to be signed in, leave all my belongings, get wanded down, and then I get taken down creepy corridors until I come to the baggage handling area. There, a man in an army uniform, carrying a gun is waiting with my big purple Samsonite. I am starting to sweat. I show him the tiles, and try to explain what I do with them. He then gets interested in my supplements and vitamins. Luckily all of those were in their original packaging (NEVER take these out of the original packaging, dear reader). Then I have to go back through the dank corridors, retrieve my belongings (is there anything worse than having to relinquish one's purse?), and go back upstairs, where my flight was already boarding. 

For the record, my case made it. In the hundreds of flights I have taken, I have had my luggage not arrive with me exactly three times. Two of those showed up in 24 hours. In the third instance, it took a few days, but it arrived. It's not a bad idea to take a picture of your case, and what it looks like inside, packed, before you fly.