For the first time in my life a government official recently stopped me at a passport checking booth and made me stand aside.
My state passport was then taken away to an office to be examined within.
Ten minutes later, my state passport was then returned, after about another twenty people had been 'processed' past me, all of them looking at me with a mixture of empathy mixed with a feeling of wondering whether I was a terrorist, an illegal immigrant, or a criminal.
No explanation. No apology. No, "I hope we haven't caused you any inconvenience, sir". Nothing. Just a, "you can go through now" dismissal and a call of "next!".
Despite knowing that I had done absolutely nothing wrong and that I was carrying nothing that could in any way be questioned, I was surprised by the amount of adrenaline that was pumping through my veins before I was finally allowed through the passport barrier.
With the amazingly draconian 'terrorist' laws that are now routinely used on people who fail to fill their garbage bins 'correctly', the stupidly imaginative things that can run around your mind in an international airport, surrounded by armed police and mirrored windows, is quite amazing, if you are left to stew long enough.
It is at this kind of point that you realise just how small you are compared to a state, which is supposed to be there to be your servant and which you are forced to pay for, for your own good, and just how fragile your grip on your own life could become if some petty official decided to enjoy themselves by making life unpleasant for you, for "looking at them in a funny way".
Even if, in their own terms, you have done nothing wrong.
I got just a tiny taste of what it must be like in a full-on police state, when the door gets knocked at 3am in the morning.
I also wondered whether the authorities in question are deliberately holding up passport queues in order to smooth the introduction of biometric passports. But that would be a foul and reprehensible thing, wouldn't it, for a government to deliberately cause inconvenience to its citizens to get them to go along with a government policy few of them want?
Oh what a joy it must have been, pre-1914, for an Englishman to have sailed around the world without a passport, an invention which was necessitated by the creation of the modern welfare-warfare state.
We should get back to those times as quickly as possible. That is why I particularly like Michael S. Rozeff's 'Airport Freedom Day', in his brilliant new article.