Today I returned from a trip to Sydney. As I exited customs and headed for my taxi I kept feeling like I had missed something, some step in security – maybe I had taken a wrong turn?
You see when I flew to Australia I had to fill in a card answering a number of questions about what I was bringing into the country. You know the ones, you just mindlessly fill them in and get on with your trip. This time though the questions around drugs were particularly prominent for me as I had brought with me some prescription pain killers for my neck (hurt it blowdrying my hair recently – long story) and I realised I had to declare them which was a bit of a pain as I ended up getting separated from my colleagues.
On the way home I wondered if I should just not declare them so as to not risk the separation thing again but resolved to do the right thing. Imagine my surprise on filling in the NZ entry card, as I ticked each box and came to the end having answered questions about mud and wood items and fruit only to find that there was no question about drugs at all!
Surely they must ask me in person as I go through customs… I listened intently for my opportunity to confess to the drugs in my handbag, “No, I don’t have any fruit in my hand bag, just some eclipse mints and a biscuit I didn’t eat on the plane.” I was waived on and the next thing I knew I was outside heading for my taxi.
The Aussies want to know about your criminal convictions and the drugs you might be carrying, the US wants to know both of the above and your Nazi party affiliations but all NZ cares about is whether you are carrying any fruit!