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illegal fruits!

We were stopped at Customs twice..on the way into Brisbane and when we were departing for Singapore..

The first time, upon scanning all the bags we were carrying on board the plane, the custom guy took that one bag containing the supposed problematic items aside and beckoned me over.

"Is this your bag? And did u fill up the custom form?" he asked.
I nodded..
"Did u tick no to everything on this declaration page?"
I nodded my head again..
"Do u know how to read English?"
Me : Huh?!!
"What exactly is the problem?" I queried.
"FRUITS!" he exclaimed. "You aren't supposed to bring fresh produce into Australia!" he said in exasperation..
Fruits!!? I wondered..and then it dawned on me what he was referring to....

And so the bag was opened and lo and behold..there were fruits..

Aidan's beloved toy fruits :)

Custom guy started blubbering and was going .."But..but.. they looked so real!"..He apologised and we both laughed over the matter...
(I was initially quite pissed off by his 'read english' remark but..suah suah lah..)

The second time round, we were stopped 'coz of some utensils in my carry bag. Guess who it was for too :D~

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( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 13th, 2004 10:40 am (UTC)
So smart leh... Liews... *shakes head slowly*

And they still have the gall to discriminate against us...
Nov. 13th, 2004 11:00 am (UTC)
heh..the fruits do look quite real tru the scan i guess :P..
Nov. 13th, 2004 10:45 am (UTC)
And that is why they have this brand:

Nov. 13th, 2004 11:01 am (UTC)
oi..so mean *bish*
(no subject) - e_rambler - Nov. 15th, 2004 08:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2004 10:47 am (UTC)
Oh lordy me. I'd have flipped already over the read english line!

I'm just glad the pig is safe!
Nov. 13th, 2004 10:59 am (UTC)
yeah..wasnt too pleased initially but then, I also know that there are many cases where pple (erm esp asians) do try to smuggle in food and use the 'dunno english' as an excuse..Anyway, he was really apologetic after that..

Yeah..piggy was safe n sound :)
Nov. 13th, 2004 11:27 am (UTC)
Haha this's TOO funny! Aidan sure got cute toys! :)
Nov. 13th, 2004 07:20 pm (UTC)
he loves these fruits toys coz it allows him to 'cut' them up one by one and i can also teach him how to recognise and pronounce the name of the fruits :)
Nov. 13th, 2004 11:56 am (UTC)
Nov. 13th, 2004 02:17 pm (UTC)
Write them Aussie buggers a nasty letter! >:(
Nov. 13th, 2004 09:16 pm (UTC)
heh..don't need to be so serious lah. They were just doing their jobs. Can't blame them..
(no subject) - andretan - Nov. 14th, 2004 05:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sansation - Nov. 14th, 2004 06:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2004 03:32 pm (UTC)
Hahaha...had a good laugh...

My friend had a similar incident whereby her mom popped an apple into her bag (for her to eat before actually going to the airport) but she forgot about it...

And when she reached Australia, the custom guy asked her "It says here that you are a teacher...Do...You...Speak...English?"..."Are You Sure??"

She nearly died of embarrassment!
Nov. 13th, 2004 09:17 pm (UTC)
hiaks..did she kowbei to her mom later for embarrassing her *grin*..
Nov. 13th, 2004 04:30 pm (UTC)
HAHAHAHA.. yah lor.. make sure next time u dun buy any toy gun for Aidan too.... not across the custom at least, esp the US one.. :
Nov. 13th, 2004 09:18 pm (UTC)
waliao..then aidan kena locked behind bars how :P..then again, the toy guns nowadays..look damn real man!
Nov. 13th, 2004 06:14 pm (UTC)
kekeke so aidan loved the wooden fruits you bought the last time. I had to keep Ryan's forks and knife in the checkin luggage just in case. these people just give me a headache.
Nov. 13th, 2004 09:19 pm (UTC)
yeah..he enjoys cutting them up so i ended up buying more fruits (the plastic type - cheaper) from kiddypalace..

I put Aidan's utensils in the checkin luggage on the way to Australia but i forgot to do so on the way back so kenaed custom check :P
Nov. 13th, 2004 06:28 pm (UTC)
I would have given it to the guy if he had asked me if I could read English. That's discrimination!

But glad to know that it was solved quickly and amicably, instead of hauling your entire family up for questioning, especially at the second checkpoint. ;)
Nov. 13th, 2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
it does seem like a common quesion that they'll ask asians during custom checks coz people do claim that they don't understand the language and make excuses for themselves. I dunno whether it's discrimination that way but oh well..I tell myself that he's just doing his job and he was quite apologetic in the end..

Hubby was joking that if we were caught, we'll just point our fingers at Aidan :P
Nov. 13th, 2004 06:56 pm (UTC)
haha...i'm not surprise they stop u...

they are always like that...claiming that they are forever right...and when they are do wrong...they try to cover up their mistakes by just simply laughing it away...*shakes head*
Nov. 13th, 2004 09:24 pm (UTC)
heh i dunno whether it's fair to generalise that they [the aussies?] are that way always..i mean it's better to be safe than sorry i guess especially with all the viruses and illness that can be spread easily from one country to another tru food.
(no subject) - paddlepong - Nov. 14th, 2004 08:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angeliatay - Nov. 14th, 2004 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 13th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC)
never been to aussie, so not sure, but i am sure france is as bad if not worse!
Nov. 13th, 2004 09:25 pm (UTC)
I'm sure most countries are quite stringent with food nowadays.. We were warned by the travel agency that we couldn't carry the powdered milk in those small milk containers but to bring in an unopened tin when going to Australia..
Nov. 13th, 2004 11:16 pm (UTC)
its a pervasive problem in australia, they have this white-is-superior notion that really irks me (i have written about this earlier in my journal). the first conclusion they jump to is 'dumb asian f**ks can't even understand english'... and i dun buy the excuse that just because they are public servants and 'doing their job', that gives them the licence to be rude to people.
Nov. 14th, 2004 06:11 am (UTC)
I still don't think this experience was racism though..i mean im sure if those toy fruits werent there, there wouldnt be a reason for them to check the bags..
But my experience in Goldcoast wasnt that good because of my other encounters (in my earlier entry)..I was fortunate enough not to experience it in Melbourne or Sydney though i have Asian friends who tells me that it's something that they have to deal with often..
Nov. 14th, 2004 12:49 am (UTC)
ha! what a stupid excuse...." they look so real"! idiots
Nov. 14th, 2004 06:08 am (UTC)
heh..i think under the scanner, it can look quite authentic..
Nov. 14th, 2004 03:19 am (UTC)
just surfing by
As a S'porean migrant in Australia, I'm surprised by how offended S'poreans get when asked by locals if they understand English, especially by customs. You do understand that a vast majority of Asians that pass through customs do not have a competent grasp of the english language, so it's just natural for the customs to question you. Plus, if those fruits didn't look real in the first place, he wouldn't have wanted to take a second look. It's hardly called an excuse, more like caution. I think most of us are being too sensitive in this case.
Nov. 14th, 2004 05:55 am (UTC)
Re: just surfing by
i was slightly miffed not at the question itself but the way he asked it..he was quite condescending in his attitude initially but after that..he was apologetic abt it and I didn't get offended much either..

In addition, as someone from customs..the card clearly says that we're from Singapore..I mean surely he should know that majority of Singaporeans do speak, write and understand English rather well?

But i do agree that he was merely doing his job and that it was better to be prudent than sorry..
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