Sunday, June 1, 2014

Travel funnies 2014 - Dubai
Torrey Orton
June 1, 2014

Travel funnies – where everything is of interest that can be a bit strange,…this time, weapons out of kitchen utensils

Just a day and a bit pausing here in the midst of so much on the edge of nothing sustained by its paleo-historic treasure of convertible carbons…a place remarkable for its greyness leavened by occasional pastels in typically European 6 story accommodations radiating around two high-rise centres – nominally east and west Dubai, the home of the kilometric Burg Khalifa.

Around the Hyatt where we’ve stopped a second time, the evidence of the encroaching of the Gulf by piles of sand behind various bunkering techniques continues in the creating canals and lagoons for vacation housing. Here, for the unaccountably numerous time, my trekking back pack carried as luggage not carryon, with its contents of various life assisting (first-aid kits, bug defender, eating tools, wet weather stuff) goodies passed through all screening devices without even a squeak of concern in dozens of countries include this one was found to be holding a questionable item by a last gasp check after clearing customs and about to grab a gab. There was something in it (it being inside a large roll around suitcase). After opening the case and finding nothing but an electric razor in a case that might have held a snub-nosed 38 in a  cartoon and pressing on into the backpack to find a camping knife (Swiss Army multi-function type, but no projectile sending capacities of note), I pointed out there was another such scabbarded knife, too, in the mess that is the contents of the pack.

The customs lady opened it and found a beautiful scrimshaw knife of razor sharpness and about 6cm (3 inches?) length with a safety lock once opened to protect unskilled fingers from self-execution in the conduct of serious camping endeavours (which for us amount to cutting quality sausage on the highest ridge we can reach on our daily climbing in France). I had a moments’ sharp despair that this would be confiscated as a half dozen forgotten pen knives have been on passing screenings in Australia. This one, however, is a 25 year old gift from a long-term Chinese friend for some consideration long forgotten but for the gift. My despair was dismissed by a 1 second judgement of the head screener that my weapon was no such thing.

All this took three minutes… and I walked away as full-handed as when I arrived, armed for this season’s sausage, bread and wine after an adventure unexpected for a result unforeseeable as it all was in the eyes of the beholder looking at an x-ray screen with new perspectives unshared even by her co-workers. Imagine what does get through, as the Australian Senator for farming matters and moral righteousness, Bill Heffernan, recently dramatized at Parliament with his pipe bomb infiltration of the high house’s security, perhaps forewarning of future intent of his own since he sees it so much in the minds of others around him!!    

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