Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Declare or Dump

Australia has really weird regulations on stuff you bring into the country. Perhaps their fears are justified, but it just seems so bizarre and such suspicious, high-moral ground behaviour that it annoyed me no end. Especially when we had about 10 points on the immigration form where we were asked about what sort of stuff we were bringing into Australia, right from plants and plant extracts (I declared Darjeeling Tea!) to the soil stuck on your shoes!!! Huge posters at the airport announce "Declare it or Dump It". Sniffer dogs come and take a whiff at your baggage as you wait in a serpentine queue that only seems to belong in Indian airports. And it worried me so much because I kept thinking of stuff I may have in my bag that I take for granted which may just arouse suspicion because I never thought to declare it. I was carrying some vibhuti - that sacred ash from Shirdi Sai Baba's temple and it's always in my bag. So I suddenly began wondering whether the x-ray might spot it and then I'd have to admit that yes, it is a plant derivaative after all and okay, please take me to jail!

Since I am not writing this from jail you can safely assume that the vibhuti cleared customs without any incidents! Tata people.

6 comments:

OrangeJammies said...

You've never been through United States customs, have you? :0)

~nm said...

sach mein? Aisa hota hai kya?? *rolling my eyes*

Thinking Cramps said...

OJ: Oh yes I have, but was travelling with folks - so it was their headache (hee hee). But I clearly recall standing with shoes, socks, belt in hand waiting for our turn at the x-ray machine. This was 2003.

NM: Bilkul..hota hai!

Aunty G said...

You know, Anamika, i wouldn't really blame them. Way back in the late 50s, when the USA gave us free wheat under the PL480 scheme, a few seeds of Parthenium came along, and look how rampant it's become all over our country now. So much so, that it's been nicknamed Congress Grass! And, remember how the Dodo got extinct?

Aunty G said...

Hey, c'mon, isn't your vacation over? || Why're you making us, in vain, hover? || Australia got your tongue? || Your blog, a leak, sprung? || Can you not see my impatient glower?

Diligent Candy said...

they are particular in islands...mauritius as well is very particular - preservation of the eco-system!