Strange Customs...

So, there I am.

I've just landed in this foreign country.

Tired and unshaven, legs aching, not quite digesting the crumbly cheese sandwich I forced myself to eat on the plane.

Waiting for my suitcase.
Praying that for once, the Baggage Gods might be nice to me this time.

I'm leaning on a trolley, contemplating my fellow passengers, each of them trying to get the best space beside the belt.

They all look so wonderfully disheveled, touchingly human... and thoroughly eager to get the hell out of there before accidentally bumping into someone they know.

I can feel the tension mounting. Their eyes are wild like animals.

My hands are moist and my teeth begin to chatter...

Behind the doors, at the far end of the hall, I imagine a small army of customs officers.
Guns slung across their shoulders.

Never have I taken a risk such as this...

The siren starts wailing.
It takes me a whole 30 seconds to realize it's just to warn the animals to stand clear of the belt.

My heart has been replaced with a piece of lead, and I feel sick.
I try to remember how to breathe, but mostly I just want to lie down on the floor and curl up into a ball and wait till it passes.

I must calm down.

My suitcase appears first.
How the hell did that happen?
Why today?

I pick it up, but I can't go yet.
I have to wait till there are more of us, slip by with a family, unnoticed, just another tourist.

I spot a young couple and their child.
Maybe I could pass for his brother.

I stay a few feet behind them, my trolley starts to squeak and I curse under my breath.

Another 20 feet and we come to the doors.

I can feel the sweat trickling down my forehead, my eyes stinging, salty and red.

The doors open. I want to run, but I know I must go slowly.

They are standing there.


I feel as if I am transparent, they can see into my soul.

This is the moment of truth.

I try to look entranced by my surroundings, pretend to read the signs in this language that I can't understand.

Another 20 feet and I shall be amongst the sign bearers, the smiling parents, the nervous lovers.

Will they stop me, these guardians of my destruction?

My heart stops beating.

My legs move, automatically.

My trolley squeaks.

And I finally come out into the Arrival Hall.


I have survived.

The most stressful experience of my entire life...

Passing through customs with a suitcase of Pot.... Noodles.

Next time, I might even risk some Haggis...

waterlooSunset waterlooSunset
36-40, M
4 Responses May 7, 2012

I know that feeling, will they stop me? Has someone put something in my luggage somehow. I always feel nervous when I arrive in a new country.

We lose our frame of reference I guess. Or, maybe we just have a guilty conscience... ;)

I don't know about pot noodles, but importation of haggis would likely bring terrorism charges if one were caught.

Yes, it's entirely possible... ;)

Sort of a gastronomic 9/11.

Very good, yes ... the pot noodles ... they'll be the downfall of nations!

The revolution has started... ;)

ah ... but will it be televised?

Hmm, let's see... "The Great Pot Noodle Revolution of 2012". Sound's pretty catchy, right? I'll see if Rupert Murdoch's interested... ;)

:D I think Murdoch has other things on his mind at the moment!


2 More Responses

they just bred genius into your soul before you ever touched earth, didn't they... * sigh * i shall now just stand here and hold this flashing APPLAUSE sign and wait for people to pass by. let me know if i need to print flyers.

Hmm, what's that expression? Ah, yes, "Flattery will get you everywhere..." ;)