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1:21pm on Saturday, 6th November, 2010:

Losing my Bottle


One of the things side effects of not drinking alcohol is that there's a whole cultural sphere surrounding it of which I am only dimly aware.

After I gave my keynote yesterday, I was given a bottle of wine as a thank-you. OK, so I don't drink wine but plenty of people I know do, so I figured I'd bring it home and maybe people could have it at Christmas or something. I put it in my suitcase and brought it back with me.

Now I know that you're not allowed to take fluids onto aeroplanes, and indeed swigged off the bottle of oramnge juice I had with me before I went through the security process. It didn't occur to me that the wine bottle wouldn't be allowed — in my mind it was just something I'd been given as a thank-you. I did consider it as an item I might have to declare going through customes, but reckoned that one bottle wasn't going to take me over any import limit.

That's not what the person on the scanning machine thought. I was called over and asked to remove it. Then, they took it away.

Of course, this all makes sense, and I'm probably lucky I wasn't fined or something for trying to smuggle a bottle of wine though. Even when they were asking me if there was a bottle in there, the first thing I thought was "og, it must be that glass bottles can be smashed and used as weapons"; it was only second I thought "oh, it's a fluid".

I'm sure the vast majority of the population would have realised there would have been a problem and either put it in hold luggage (I only had hand luggage though) or disposed of it, eg. by drinking it the previous night. Or maybe there's something else that people do?

Oh well, I'll know next time.

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).