Friday, 14 August 2009

The Devil looked after his own

Or the sun shone on the righteous. Take your pick.

Anyway, an uneventful journey to Calais (except for me driving down the wrong access ramp to the train and having to have the other door opened for me to drive on), followed by a leisurely lunch. Although it was about a year since we had been at that restaurant, the proprietress recognised Joe immediately we walked through the door and came straight over to give him a hug.

A gentle stroll along the seafront afterwards helped us to digest our meal while we admired the young ladies in their brief bikinis. Then shopping (which was what we had really gone for) and there was still time to sit at a pavement cafe and watch the world for a while before catching the train back home.

The immigration officer was perhaps the most painstaking I have yet had the misfortune to meet. She took our four passports and asked how many there were in the car when she could quite easily see there were four of us. She then proceeded to call each of us by our Christian name while she checked the passport photos. I did think she should have addressed us as Mr So-and-so instead of Albert or whatever. The she wanted to know where we had been.

'How long have you been abroad?'
'About ten hours.'
'What was the purpose of your trip?'
'To have lunch.'
'Have you bought anything while you've been here?'
'Yes - food.'
'Any alcohol?'
'Yes - some wine.'
'Any cigarettes or tobacco?'
'How many cigarettes?'
'800 for me.'
'And I've bought 800 as well.'
'Any tobacco?'

Passports handed back, I plucked up courage.

'As we are allowed to bring these items into the country, do you really have to question us like this?'
'I have to be satisfied they are for your own consumption. Are they?'
'And you have no tobacco?'

Small wonder it was taking her twice as long to process a car as either of the others on duty.

But we arrived home safely.

1 comment:

Uncle Skip said...

At least she spoke to you.
TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) agents won't say much of anything to anyone. They acknowledge with a blank stare.