Us travellers often blog about what we think fellow travellers and budding travellers want to hear about, particularly with regards to some specific elements of travelling like how to organise certain aspects, where to go and perhaps even how to save as much money as possible while doing so. We often get clouded a bit and churn out posts that while very useful, often tend to lack that essence of travel — that which makes the whole trip worth the time and money spent putting it together and following through with it.
It’s almost like there’s an unwritten law which inhibits us a bit, perhaps best manifested through a popular saying which goes “Some of the best times of your life are those which you can’t tell anybody about!”
There’s definitely some element of truth to that, but why then do travellers have endless topics to discuss when we bump into each other and find out that we share a common passion for travel? This in addition to just sitting down and reminiscing on your travels is when some of the most alluring travel stories come to the fore. For some reason we seem to collectively leave out these stories as travellers, in favour of keeping our readers engaged and we seem to be missing the fact that this is perhaps the best way to keep our readers engaged — by being genuine and sharing real experiences.
So I’ve resolved to break that cycle (I decided to do that quite some time ago though, so it doesn’t officially begin with this post, as you might have noticed already). I’m going to share one airport customs experience I had Down Under, which I hope you’ll find as interesting and funny as I did.
The extravagant traveller
I want to say he was Dutch, but I think I might be wrong… Oh no, he was Ukrainian, yes! So anyway, in Australia you sort of get used to being singled out by the customs officials and if you’re not used to it you may feel as if you’re being treated like a suspected criminal, but they have very strict customs procedures Down Under to protect their fragile agriculture industry for the most part.
So anyway, I was pulled aside along with this extravagant Ukrainian traveller who was kitted in all-white high-end attire. He had so much luggage which he said was packed by his assistant and I wasn’t allowed to chat with him so I couldn’t ask him just what it is that he does for a living. The customs official was rather intrigued to go through his luggage and found nothing of great concern except 50 whole litres of some special soya milk the traveller said he drinks because he’s a vegetarian or vegan. I can’t quite remember exactly. Unfortunately for him he was told he’s only allowed to bring in 20 litres of the milk and the rest would either have to be destroyed or rerouted somewhere else at his expense.
His solution? Well, with a very straight face that led me to believe that he was dead serious, he offered to solve the “problem” by drinking all 30 litres of the milk he couldn’t bring in, right there at that very moment!