P’s woes with customs! Lest he forgets…
He ate his lunch of sandwiches, but the pear was left alone
In his bag obliviously, the pear flew to the city of sails
There at the airport before customs, P stood biting out his nails:
He had forgotten all about the uneaten, neglected pear
And failed to mention the fruit in his customs questionnaire;
Though not jailed, he had to pay a hefty sum as fine!
So now in transit P never takes fruits with him to dine.
Lest he forgets………..
If you would ask Mr P to mention some scary things he has done in his life, he would say it was passing through customs and immigration and border security at the various international airports during his travels. No matter how many times he had done this during his frequent travels, he was a nervous wreck as he passed through these checks.
Every time, he felt that the officers who checked his passport and looked into his eyes were trying to read his deepest secrets and did not like what they saw! Under their piercing scrutiny, just the thought of the Tylenol and Paracetamol tablets he carried for headaches, made him feel as though he was carrying something illegal. Whenever they asked him about the purpose of his travel, he felt that they believed he had some evil plans. This made P so nervous that his replies often came out in a squeaky voice. P would struggle to correct his voice to their next question and it would then come out as a hoarse grunt. Suffice to say that all this combined with his fidgeting made him appear as a suspicious character. So, very often he was subjected to strong scrutiny and checking. Often he was asked to remove his shoes and he was pat-checked. Then at the airport there were those sniffer dogs. After that incident on his travel to New Zealand when he had to pay a fine of NZ$ 200 for carrying a forgotten pear in his bag from the lunch at Melbourne, he was very careful. He understood how much New Zealand customs hated plant material……… in the luggage. So he had made sure that he was not carrying any plant material to that country. Yet on one travel, this little sniffer dog had hounded him and the customs officer had detained him and thoroughly checked his bags before the problem was identified as some residual smell from the bananas he used to carry for lunch in his briefcase to work. Until he was allowed to proceed, he had felt that every eye in the airport was on him, scornfully wondering what drugs he was carrying in his bags!
P had been deeply embarrassed by this incident and so bought a brand new “American Tourister” bag from Wal-Mart to carry as cabin bag on his next trip. On reaching Auckland airport, Mr P rested his new bag on the floor and was in the process of collecting his checked in luggage from the conveyor belt when a sniffer dog came a-sniffing at his bag! “Not again!” thought Mr P as the customs officer followed and started examining his bag. The officer started questioning Mr P on the contents and kept asking if Mr P had any fruits in the bag within the past few days. “No, Never”, he replied. “Just to avoid this situation I left at home my regular briefcase in which I take my lunch to work. This is a brand new bag that I bought just yesterday!”
“Ah! That explains it!” said the officer. “Sometimes this sniffer dog falsely alerts to the smell of new bags!”
P stood agape! “One can never win with immigration, customs and border security!” he realised. “You could not avoid suspicion if you traveled with your old fruity smelling bag. Can you not travel with a new one either? Life was tough.”