I was flying with Ryanair from London to Tallinn, an airline which I have a love/hate relationship with. Ryanair works on a business model which delivers low prices and sociopathic customer service. If you make any mistake, you are faced with menacing looks, wicked laughter and ridiculous fees. Seriously, if you turn up without your boarding pass printed, it’s a €40 fee. I could buy a printer for that price and still have money leftover.
This time however, the flight was actually quite enjoyable. It didn’t feel at all like the usual Ryanair experience, i.e. being bombarded with advertising for the duration of the flight. It’s nice traveling with only a carry-on as well, as I avoid the dreaded baggage carousel.
Just as I entered through the green “Nothing To Declare” zone, I noticed that a Customs official had been following me for a while. Just then, a side-door opened and the man behind me asked me to go into the interrogation room. It’s about time too, I haven’t been racially profiled for a few months. Truth be told, I’ve grown fond of the extra attention I get. It makes me feel like I’m kind of a big deal.
The Customs official spoke perfect English and asked me the usual yada-yada questions. Unsatisfied with my answers he decided to scan my bag. First it was scanned flat on its back, then scanned on the side, then the other side. “Why don’t I just open the bag?” I offered, wondering perhaps if there was a training issue with deciphering the scans.
Besides I was excited to open my bag, so I could show off how I had managed to pack so much stuff in such a little bag (It’s one of the plights of solo travel, you can’t be too fussy as to whom to become friends with.). I opened my bag and it looked like the Custom official’s eyes had just popped out. Right on top were two Ziploc bags containing white powder.
There was a bit of commotion and another official ran over with gloves. They both gingerly handled the packages. “Don’t worry, they aren’t drugs” I smirked. They ignored me as if they no longer understood English. I thought only women did that to me.
You see, due to space restrictions I had put some laundry detergent in one Ziploc bag and baby powder in another (I like to apply baby powder to my body after showers. You can shut the fuck up.). The two officials decided to rummage through the rest of my belongs (I’m a little surprised that there was no mention at all of my superior packing skills.). After 5 minutes of this, I started getting bored so I decided to help them out with their investigation. I proceeded to name everything they touched. “That’s a pack of cards. That’s underwear. That’s a toothbrush”.
I wonder if it’s possible to get deported for being annoying.
Finally, they got bored as well and said I was free to go. As I was leaving one of the officials said “bye bye!” in the friendliest way possible, as if I had just been over for tea and biscuits. Welcome to Estonia.
Have you ever had “issues” with Customs?