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First Contact November 10, 2006

Off the plane rolling into Customs, no problems. A bit of a line, it moved quickly. Got to the front, "Um, sir, what flight were you on"? "I have no idea, let me check my thingy". Dude next to us said, "He's on flight XYZ". Indeed I was and the man was thanked.

Now comes the fun part. My choices: Declare Goods or Quarantine. Being the 'just ask a human' kinda of person I tend to be in situations where I have no freaking idea, I asked a human. They directed me to Declare Goods. Declare Goods man read the little orange card I had completed on the plane. He says Quarantine. Quarantine says Declare Goods. Declare Goods (different person) says Quarantine. Quarantine says... OMFG! By this time I said, "Look, you assholes don't know how to ask a fucking question"! On this card it asks, "have you any animal, plant, or organic stuffs (ie. seeds, feathers, soil on your shoes, etc.)"? I saw "soil on your shoes" and thought that was a silly question, of course I have soil on my shoes. So I checked it. I also checked the "Business goods" box. So one check box sent me to Quarantine, the other to Declare Goods. I proceeded to accost the person as to what the problem was. I was swiftly moved to an x-ray machine at which point clearance was made for my exit. Holy hell.

Problem two, I didn't know where or when Paul was going to meet me at the airport. The plane had actually landed an hour early, but I figured my Customs fun time had put me back on schedule. I was outside the terminal now looking around for where cars might pick people up. Hmm, buses, taxis, and limos; no normal people cars. I get a communique to Paul that I am at terminal T1. He says, "Meet me at the departures drop-off area". Uh, what. I have a 50lb computer on a cart and by asking an employee (who calls Paul a douche for his suggested meeting area) tells me I'm out of luck and that I should wait where I am. Message -> Paul. Paul reluctantly agrees and I wait. I wait and decide to ask another Aussie. Oh, this one says "Of course you go to the departure gate, that's the only place cars are allowed". Uh hu. This system is really great. They help me find a 'lift' (50lb computer!) and I'm now where I need to be. "Hi Paul".