Border Bureaucracy – New Zealand Edition

The 4 hour flight from Melbourne to Auckland passed without incident. I watched ‘The Great Gatsby’ and filled in my landing card. Immigration was cleared and my luggage was collected so I headed for customs.

You have to declare some seriously odd stuff when you enter New Zealand e.g. shoes you’ve worn outdoors in the last week. I had dutifully declared all the weird things and confidently placed my bags on the conveyor for xraying. Next thing I know, I’m pulled aside and being asked what this thing in my bag is. It looked like a pack of sausages, it really did, and I could not think what it was. It was three distinct cylindrical looking shapes packed tightly next to each other.

I began to panic.  I thought back to the ‘has anyone tampered with your luggage’ question that you answer automatically at check in and wondered if someone had tampered with it. My internal monologue was as follows:

“What if some ruffian has planted a pack of sausages on me? What if it’s drugs? Oh s#&t, it’s drugs. It’s wraps of crack. I’m going to jail. That’s it. I’ve had drugs planted on me and now this nice man is going to find them and I’m going to go to jail unlawfully because some bloody bottom feeder stashed his gear in my bag when I was distracted by something shiny or food. The f#@*er. I’m going to go Liam Neesom on him when I find him, or her. I mean it could have been a girl. Oh s#&t, s#&t, s#&t, s#&t, s#&t.”

As the man with the latex gloves on approached I could feel myself sweating. He unzipped my bag and began to rifle around. I prepared myself to be tackled and cuffed by law enforcers. I wondered if I could make a run for it but decided I’d gotten too fat and unfit to attempt a runner. The exits were heavily staffed. I was doomed, unjustly doomed.

I felt my heart rate quicken as he saw something and looked puzzled. His puzzlement became a smile. “Of course he’s smiling” I thought, “he just busted an unwilling drug trafficker!” then he spoke,

“Ah! It’s your bars of soap we saw on the xray. Off you go!”.

I laughed with relief but internally was concentrating on not wetting myself. I scurried away, swaying ever so slightly, trying to ignore the muscle at the edge of my eye twitching furiously.

Emma 0 – 1 Irrational brain logic.


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