One of the benefits of only having something like four channels in English is you
are forced to get to watch some pretty unusual programming you might not otherwise watch. Case in point is the Australian program Border Security: Australia’s Front Line aka Nothing to Declare.
In case the name wasn’t a dead giveaway, the show is basically a reality-based television show about the immigration and customs at Sydney and Melbourne airports. You get to see real people getting jacked up at the boarder in Australia for all kinds of stupid stuff.
Here are some things I’ve learned about Australia from the show:
1. The quickest way to an anal cavity search is to answer the question “And what do you intend to do in Sydney?” with “Uh, look around and stuff.”
2. The second quickest way to an anal cavity search is to arrive in Australia on a direct flight from a known drug trafficking location (Medellin, Thailand, etc) with $27.50 in cash, no credit cards, no hotel reservations, and sweating profusely.
3. Ninety-nine percent of all people who try to smuggle food into Australia are Asian. And they never try to smuggle a banana or anything. They usually have four or give suitcases full of fresh and dried fruits and vegetables. And no matter how much crap they’ve been caught with, when customs asks if they have any more food they always say “no” just before the customs officer hauls another 30 – 40 lbs of food out of another one of their bags.
4. Never start off a sentence with “If I tell you the truth will you . . .”
5. The answer to the question “Where will you be staying in Sydney?” is NOT “Staying? Ummm . . .”
6. Likewise, the answer to the question “Are you carrying any narcotics in your luggage?” is NOT “My luggage?”
7. If you and your friend are going to attempt to enter Australia illegally or for illegal purposes (obtaining work without a work permit) don’t purchase your tickets together, using a third person’s credit card, sit next to each other on the plane, exit the aircraft together, make obvious gestures to each other that you need to split up, walk to polar opposite lines in the immigration queue, and then tell the immigration officer who has been watching your suspicious activity on CCTV that you don’t know each other. Better yet, agree on a story so that your companion doesn’t admit to another immigration official that you two are related while you are adamantly denying knowing or ever having seen the person before.
8. The incorrect answer to the question “Sir, why do you have these documents when you are only in possession of a tourist visa,” after being searched and found to be carrying your birth certificate, resume, letters of reference, commercial licenses, and a notepad with the notes you jotted down while looking for someone to illegally hire you, is not “Um, I thought I might need those during my vacation.”
photocred goes to Corey Leopold