North Cyprus Blog: Anything to Declare?
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11 April 2007

Anything to Declare?

The recent posting on Cyprus 44 Forums on border crossings does show that crossing times have improved recently; just look at the number of posters who had no problems at all! As they all say, just don’t take any property details or paperwork across. That single piece of knowledge can save you all sorts of hassle.

Not that needing insider knowledge is anything new when travelling! It’s the quirks and customs that make travelling to other countries so much fun, but they can also trip you up when it comes to the customs checkpoint. I didn’t know that chewing gum was illegal in Singapore, and only found my faithful ‘anti-popping ears’ packet in my handbag AFTER we had landed. I had to swiftly dispose of it hidden inside a banana skin in a rubbish bin on Orchard Road, just in case...
In Egypt, two giggling conscripts in Aswan airport watched with glee as I emptied all my watercolour pencils (in tins, of course) from my rucksack all over their table; they really didn’t care much, they were just bored!

Not to mention the grilling I got from Israeli airline officials at Tel Aviv over exactly which sight-seeing trips my travelling companion and I had gone on; it boiled down to the problem that she was from the Midlands and called a coach a bus. In Israel, a coach is a private tour, a bus is public transport. Our stories, told to separate officers, therefore didn’t tally, and until I realised the problem, we were going nowhere, slowly. By the way, if you ever do travel to Israel independently, keep all your receipts, especially for travel – it proves where you have been (yes, really, and copy them to all members of your party.)

Of course, all that was as nothing compared to the current hassle of getting anything vaguely liquid through security at a UK airport. Everything has to be in a little plastic bag, on top of your handbag, which is already stuffed into your hand luggage, so there is precious little room for anything anyway. Nothing escapes the plastic bag, not even lip gloss and lipstick. High heeled boots have to be X-rayed, (without you in them, of course) and water bottles can only be taken through if empty. That’s totally empty. I battled with the security chaps over this recently, and won only because I opened the cap and shook it hard to prove it. I am so cheesed off with being charged exorbitant prices the other side of security for something I can get for free from water fountains.)

Oh, and if you’re travelling from Jersey in the Channel Islands, take your own plastic bag, or they will even charge you 10p for it!



Blogger Fanos said...

Once an old lady was travelling back to Larnaca from Athens where she went to see her grand daughter who was studying in a Greek University. Customs officers asked her the same question" Anything to declare?" and the old lady replied:
" Yes I want the Cyprus Problem solved, I want to have everybody returned to their homes and the country demilitarised!!!"

29 April 2007 16:17  

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