Monday, October 24, 2011

Day Thirty Two - Expert Traveller ... I Think Not

So today was supposed to be one of those easy posts where I say …. “We travelled all day and nothing happened so sleep now and start exploring tomorrow. “ I really really want to say that but unfortunately we had a bit of drama.

The drive to Gatwick was fine, the flight to Dubai was fine but the minute we arrived everything just started to go wrong. We got our luggage and just as we started to make our last dive to freedom we got hit with Customs. Now before you all shake your heads and go … your crazy …. That’s so stupid. We both realize this was a bit oversight on our behalf. So they are scanning our suitcases and suddenly one of us is pulled aside. We need to look in THIS bag. This bag being mine so I dragged it over to the desk and proceeded to pull nearly everything out, me at this point thinking, I have no idea what they are looking for. Then I remembered what we had brought in London and promptly forgot about and it hit me, “Gun!” And just as quickly “oh shit” So I explained very quickly it wasn’t really a gun, it was a decorator piece done like a 1800s gun and that we had brought it for display from the tower of London.

Ben and all the customs guys were looking at it and the woman asked me to come and sign something to indicate that I had given my permission to have the bag searched. I left hubby and the boys playing and we went off the sign the paperwork. All fine so far but when I came out there is no sign of hubby or the customs boys. So I wandered to the driver pick up point … no hubby, I wandered back to the customs area … no hubby. Finally I ask the girls where he was and they point to a little door down the far end of the hall. Hurrying down I then got pointed to an office at the end where hubby is sitting in a small chair surrounded by 6 customs officials. Now for the moment I want you to picture my poor husbands face, no one has told him anything, they wouldn’t let him wait for me and they are all towering over him speaking in a foreign language. He looked terrified and to be honest I didn’t blame him. It turns out even if it’s just a decoration it still needs to be verified by the police to say “its fake”

Cue the next 3 hours of them attempting to fill in a form, figure out how to work out the printer, take photos and all the time new officers come in to have a bit of a play. Then the big boss comes in and at this point I’m tired, hungry and feeling like I’m coming down with the flu so I ask him how much longer and is everything ok. Then it all starts happening, forms print, pictures are taken and I being tired and hungry pull out some lovely Belgian Chocolate and offer it around. See everyone takes a piece and then its their turn, so a tray of Arabic coffee is brought in and the whole atmosphere is warm and friendly and questions are asked about our holiday and our time in Dubai.

So we get walked up to the police station and it takes him about two seconds to determine that it isn’t real and we think … yay but then he walk off into his bosses office. They argue for a bit and he comes out and says he is keeping the piece because in his eyes a gun is a gun is a gun. Again at this point we are tired so fine, we lose the gun, it was unintentional and disappointing but its fine, we just wanted to go home. He tells me he has to write us out a warning and then we sit there for an hour while various people come in look at the gun, argue with the guy and then leave. Finally a guy comes in that EVERYONE stands up and salutes, looks at the gun, shakes his head and walks out. This is where we start getting worried, where is our warning letter, why are we still sitting there. The police officer that served us then comes back to us, shoves the gun in our hands, tells us to put it away and that we can go because its not real.

Say what????? So we do just what we said, we quickly put the gun back in our luggage, run out the door, and get into the car and leave. It all seems very weird and surreal and yes we will admit we just didn’t think about it. Its such an old gun it sort of reminds me of a blunderbuss and is mostly done in wood with a couple of pieces of ornate metal so for us we were more worried about getting it through customs Australia.

Anyways getting to our hotel was easy and the room … oh my god the room is heaven. I may have booked us a suite and its lovely, there is an entry hall, a lounge room, bedroom, bathroom, powder room and dressing room all of which seem perfectly decorated and are so comfortable.

We ordered dinner at midnight and after eating fell into bed. Oh yes, and dinner itself was almost silver service with a little table, full table service and everything. So bad start in Dubai and hopefully good finish. I’m planning to sleep in tomorrow morning and not move until I grow bored of bed. 

1 comment:

KL said...

O.M.G! WHAT A DAY!!!!! That souvenier should come with a serious warning. I am sure that this will, eventually, be one of your more hillarious stories of your vacation. I get that it may not be just now. Or in the near future. But it will. I'm positive. Sleep well!!!!
x KL