b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Travel » Post 1942370 | Search
This is a question Travel

I've had guns pointed at me in many different countries, sometimes even by our own side. I've also sat on my own on a beach on a desert island, which was nice because nobody was trying to shoot me. Tell us your tales of foreign travel.

Thanks to SnowytheRabbit for the suggestion

(, Thu 18 Apr 2013, 17:43)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

« Go Back

I don't think I've posted this on here...
Back in 2008 we decided to take my dad to Paris for his sixtieth birthday. He was working across the road from the St Pancras Eurostar link and had seen it being built bit by bit, so we thought that would be a nice mode of travel for us all to take.

My girlfriend is better at packing than me so she did most of it, leaving me to sort out toiletries and books and stuff (hand luggage basically).

So we rock up at St Pancras all packed and raring to go. Through customs we went, and the bags got scanned as normal - until it got to our bag. The customs lady put on a latex glove and asked me to open the bag. Fair enough, I think, just a randomised search. She then starts pulling things out willy-nilly.
"Is there a problem at all?" I ask.
"We've found some bullets in your bag."
"There must be some mist-oh shit..."

I had not intended to try and smuggle ammunition onto the continent. To work out how this happened we must travel back to the start of the noughties. My dad and I had been on a really interesting trip to a disused nuclear bunker in Kelvedon Hatch (I'd recommend it if you're into that sort of thing - www.secretnuclearbunker.com/). I'm a sucker for gift shops, and had bought two bullet keyrings (a 9mm and a 7.62mm). These had served me well until I went to university, and they eventually fell off the actual ring part of the keyring (so they were basically bullets). Not being the tidiest of students - and a hoarder to boot - I'd chucked the de-keyringed bullets in the first place I saw: my washbag. I just left them there with the rest of the detritus I'd snaffled away in there - out of sight, out of mind. I didn't have a passport for most of my university years, so why would their hiding place matter?

It mattered to the UK Border Agency. It also mattered to the plain clothes policeman they summoned to question me. He was actually a friendly chap, and would've been quite disarming - if he hadn't stretched his shoulders quite deliberately as he came over to me to show me his shoulder holster. I was shitting a brick by this point, not only was I in danger of ruining my dad's birthday, I was far closer to getting shot than I like to be. The policeman questioned me about where I got the bullets from, and what I was doing. He even tried to catch me out by changing questions halfway through - "So you're going to Paris wi-you've never been nicked before have you?"

Eventually, my decidedly ropey (but true!) alibi involving nuclear bunkers and gift shops was accepted, and I was sent on my way sans the offending items. I got a letter confirming the receipt and destruction of the contraband items by the authorities, and I'm reminded of this every time I pack a suitcase.

I'm getting on a plane next month to go to on a tour of a particle accelerator. I dread to think how I'll explain that one to the Swiss authorities...
(, Wed 24 Apr 2013, 12:09, 1 reply)
Oooh CERN?
My son is a physicist there.
(, Wed 24 Apr 2013, 21:42, closed)

« Go Back

Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1