A dog and a pig – a true fairy tale.

If you/ your family/ your friends travel internationally often enough, you might be aware of that one person (or two), who tries to smuggle things across the border.

We are not talking about drugs, or weapons right now. What I mean is all sorts of food, plants and animals. Every now and again we hear about people trying to bring in exotic animals and plants to the US. It is also fairly common for people to bring all sorts of food through, too.

If you have questions regarding what you can and cannot bring, please refer to this web site. Be sure to read it carefully so as not to spend money on something that will be thrown out. (For example: ivory. You CAN bring it in, but only if it is an antique (over 100 years old) and you have the documents to prove it.)

Aside from protecting the endangered species of the flora and fauna, such restrictions are meant to ward off foreign diseases. To keep them from spreading onto uncharted territory.

When I was browsing through the news last week, I scrolled through an article with a picture that made me salivate (Lechon anyone?).

The Tweet says it all – a furry TSA officer (beagle named Hardy) sniffed out a roasted pig’s head in one of the traveler’s suitcase at the Atlanta airport. The pig was travelling from South America.

A different beagle (Joey) sniffed out a whole roasted pig AT THE SAME AIRPORT 2 years ago. (Does it mean that it is a good airport to try and smuggle pigs through? Or does it mean that the dogs working there are the best in the business?)

This whole incident made me wonder what motivates people to do such silly things. Potential financial gain is one argument that comes to mind. The second (a bit more understandable to me) is that people bring something they cannot (easily) get here in the USA. Something that is ubiquitous in foreign countries, but not necessarily here.

Where do you think it stops? What will people try to get through the border?

Have you ever tried to get something through that you should not have? 

It happened to me once or twice that I got a bottle of water on the plane, landed in my destination country, but had to go through security AGAIN to travel to a different city. The irritating thing was that I did not leave the gate area, so I did not think twice about having something I should not have. But I had water in my carry on and was made to look like someone who has no idea about traveling restrictions. Felt pretty embarrassing, especially because I consider myself somewhat savvy in that department.

There was this one time that the alarm just kept going off, despite the fact I had nothing in my bag that should set it off. The officer struggled to find anything, but decided not to give up. It took a long time of searching and finding nothing. In the end he confiscated my key-chain, which had the tiniest blade on it (below the restricted amount). I guess once that alarm goes off, you have to give up SOMETHING.

When I see dogs at the airport I get a bit nervous (even though I know I have nothing to hide). But I also feel so much gratitude towards them. I admire them so much. They really are amazing at detecting all sorts of things that can put us in jeopardy.

Disclaimer: I do not condone trying to get ANY prohibited items through the border. Why go through all the stress?

Stay golden,

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43 thoughts on “A dog and a pig – a true fairy tale.

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    1. Yea, I’m aware of that. But I feel like there is not much I can do. And if I put up a fight, I might get in more trouble than it’s worth. So I remain calm.
      In the US, restrictions are still a bit arbitrary. The TSA website says that the ultimate decision is made by the officer. I’m annoyed, because I had something that got through 1 airport (in the US) without an issue, while it was confiscated at another (USA) airport. I think the officer just liked the item and wanted to keep for themselves.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s the problem, there is zero follow up on their part as well. The people in the TSA couldn’t stop an attack on anything. Have you seen the kind of shape their in? They are the hall monitors of the airports for now. Next time just remember, it was Bush and Kavanaugh and others that formulated the Patriot Act.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I choose to be a bit ignorant on this topic, because I like to pretend I’m “somewhat” safe at the airport. That’s why I don’t get too heated when they look through my things for the millionth time holding up the line. Maybe they will find an explosive that way.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I know of several people (online fb groups not friends) who have boasted about bringing foodstuffs and seeds into the country. It makes me see red. Yes there’s stuff I miss, yes I’d like to take a banana or an apple on an international flight but tough! I truly miss a type of bean (runner beans) that I’ve never found here and can’t find seeds for either. Would I smuggle a packet? Not on your nelly.
    Look at all the horrible things that are rampant here like zebra mussels and kudzu. We’d be better off without either. Blights are caused by that kind of selfishness and it really pisses me off when people are so irresponsible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hear ya.
      The boasting/ bragging is what especially gets on my nerves. Isn’t that something that you should be ashamed of, and keep in private? I know a couple who brought in a suitcase full of sausages, mushrooms and alcohols (home made). They were so proud. To this day I’m not sure if it was true or not, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I tend to believe it, I just wished they’d get fined out the wazoo. I can understand someone having a snack and forgetting it but not a case full of contraband! I DO bring a case of stuff back each time but I check the prohibited list before shopping.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. First time I went to the U.S. they definitely wanted to have a word with me. I lived Denmark, was from the Netherlands but born in Bosnia. They were mainly interested if I had drugs on me 😅

    Transporting animals is just sick. Mr beagle did a good job!

    You do raise another interesting point: do you feel safe or uncomfortable when the police is near?
    Then again, how much can trust the police 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Where in the US did you go?
      Did they take you to the interrogation room, or just at the customs booth?

      I have not been mistreated by the police, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. I have high respect for them.
      But you are right. When driving with someone I point out a cop car if I see it, and then the driver says: “So?”. I don’t know, it’s just natural for me to worry.

      Like

        1. The moment I asked you I thought I remembered you mentioning something about Texas before.

          I remember a a decade or so ago the lines for foreigners were much longer than the ones for US residents/ citizens. Now, it seems like it’s quicker for everyone else but the residents to get into their country.
          They do ask US citizens why were you out of the country, for how long, etc, too. It does make you feel uncomfortable a bit. Imagine coming home in the evening, and Jasper asking where you’ve been before he could let you inside. Weird.

          Like

  3. The sad part is that these people who bring exotic animals, plants are the same who will abandon them in the nature, sometimes it causes damages to the fauna, flora of the place where they exported these things.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My wonderful tusk hairclip! I bought it in the departure lounge on the way out to our holiday destination and it probably only cost about £3. I wore it all holiday only for it to be confiscated on the way back. I tried to bargain, asked the staff to mind it for me, but they refused. But I bought it at the airport!!! You can see, I’m still bitter now . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have never travelled internationally before, but some of my friends have and I know they smuggle some of our native foodstuffs into your country time and again. The reason being that the seeds and vegetables we mostly eat here are VERY scarce there and when they manage to find these seeds and veggies there, they’re usually very expensive.

    Do you have Okra in the US? How much is it?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. LOL that is hilarious that someone tried to sneak a roast pig across the border! It also surprises me that that happened (at least) twice!
    One time I was trying to board a plane, the customs officer dug out my kindle from my luggage, suspecting it to “contain explosives.” I explained that it might be because I work at a pharmacy which keep nitrates (similar to what is found in TNT!?) in stock. After several long moments of waiting, he finally returned it to me and let me go to the gate! I was worried that I’d lose my kindle back there LOL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Where do you think it stops? What will people try to get through the border?

    I have what most would probably call a rather peculiar view of borders. If it were up to me, I’d tear them all down, on the grounds that we’re all human, and our place of birth is pure happenstance. You can’t see national borders from space. Most are relics of a (mostly) bygone age where Mr Big and his cronies would steal land, put fences around it persecute anyone who tried to cross into ‘their’ land… hmm… maybe that’s not such a ‘bygone age’ at all; it’s still going on today.

    Oh, sure, you still need some system to discourage potentially harmful practices like transporting inappropriate crops, and livestock (especially in the case of endangered species) from one area to another. But the whole concept of ‘smuggling’ is, to my mind, a fabrication, and reveals the lie about those who espouse the so-called ‘free’ market (they don’t want any such thing: they want control of the movement of goods so that they can profit from it). And a system that devolves final authority to ‘the officer on the border’ just gives wannabe crooks a licence to steal (even if, as in your case, it’s just trinkets).

    Have you ever tried to get something through that you should not have?

    O.0… just one time. I went to Amsterdam for a long weekend with a couple of friends, to sample the wares of its renowned *cough* ‘coffee shops’ *cough*. I was very aware that it would be illegal to bring any of the fine product I’d purchased entirely legally in one country back into my own. But it was sooooo gooood… too good to waste. So I tore a hole in the lining of an inside coat pocket, and dropped a baggie in there, thinking that even if it were to be found I could, maybe, pretend that it was a simple accident (in retrospect, that was probably naïveté on my part). We didn’t get stopped. When we got home, I admitted to my ‘crime’ to my friends, and one of them was really annoyed, claiming that his car could have been impounded had I been caught. I wasn’t aware that was a possibility, or I would have thought twice; but, really? The rules are simply wrong if moving a couple of joints’ worth of ‘double-zero’ across a border can have such heavy penalties imposed. (My friend lightened up a little bit, later on — I think the double-zero may have had something to do with that!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to approve this comment. I guess it’s because it includes two links.

      That IS a weird outlook on things. I get the idealistic premise, but, the realist it me gets puzzled by such. Why do so many people have fences/ walls around their homes? I’d say safety and privacy are the main factors, which can also be translated into countries.

      I mean, it is silly to ban Kinder surprise eggs in the US, while they are fine in Canada (so people smuggle them), indeed. But I do get the fact that there is a worry of bringing certain diseases through smuggled animals. But, as we can see now, humans are the worst transporters of diseases.

      Aaaaaah, you drove! I thought you flew (back then; I know you don’t not). Something like that definitely would have made me nervous.

      Liked by 1 person

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Cathleen Townsend

Faerie Tales and Fantasy Worlds

Mark-Huntley-James

writing science-fiction and fantasy since tomorrow

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