Story of my Life @Kuwait_DGCA

If you are an expat in Kuwait, chances are the place you visit most frequently is the airport!

Kindly allow me to share with you a typical return flight for me:

At immigration:

immigration officer: put finger on device.

I hate that they don’t tell you when to take it off, and I feel stupid just standing there with my finger on a machine whilst they talk to their friends, and then run my passport through their scanning machine.

But the real gold happens as I exit the airport after the final X-ray. I gather my luggage and try to walk away looking as non-threatening as possible, however, the following always happens:

customs officer: you, good morning, come here.

me: hello.

customs officer: your passport please. where are you flying in from?

me: India, via sharjah.

customs officer: what were you doing in India?

me: Work.

Customs officer: What work?

me: my job. I audit.

customs officer: do you smoke? cigarettes, sheesha?

me: no, I run a lot.

customs officer: you run? did you run here from India?

me: maybe next time.

customs officer: have a good day.

me: same to you.

jail-bars-prison-cartoon-picture-thumb

Damn my Spanish good-looks that make me appear as a drug dealer! I mean seriously, is the fact that someone smokes automatically a red flag that they indulge in other illicit activities? Has smoking become a gateway activity to drugs?!

I cannot count the number of times I have been searched, thoroughly mind you, by customs officers here in Kuwait, to the point where every single item in my luggage was taken out and inspected, all my jeans pockets turned inside out.

Can’t a guy get like a card after years and years of flying with no incident that would have customs just flag them through as no-risk?!

My most memorable offence was during my first trip from uni back home (in 2002), apparently some fool had attempted to smuggle drugs sewed into the collar of his shirt, so all bachelors travelling alone were suspect. We (my brother and I)  were taken into a back room where we were asked to sign a form stating we had nothing on us. The officer then took everything out of our luggage and systematically inspected every nook and cranny, flipped through every magazine, over turned every pocket etc.

Then came time for the physical exam. He chose to start with my brother. It started off normally, take everything out of your pockets, take off your shoes etc. I was getting bored so I thought to adjust my watch for the time difference, apparently this was construed by the officer as me trying to conceal drugs of some sort, and I was asked to stand with my hands against the wall.

It would have been less embarrassing had his friend not chosen to walk in and ask “shfee hatha?” (whats up with him, meaning me)

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August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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