The flight over the Tasman Sea to New Zealand is going well, and we land almost exactly at 11:30 PM local time.
I have some comments about the landing. First, the plane tilts quite a bit, almost as if there was a big bump in the middle of the runway. Then, there’s a sudden stop, causing us to almost hit the seat in front of us. Neither I nor anyone else seems to be injured.
After that, I go through passport control, which is self-manned. A scanner reads the passport, and you’re supposed to be allowed into the arrival hall, but not for me and a few others. We have to take the regular route.
On the plane, we had to fill out a form about what we have in our luggage, where we’ve been, and so on.
The form also asks if you have camping equipment, medications, explosives, weapons, and such.
I indicated that I have a tent and other camping gear and that my last destination was Borneo, where I also camped. The passport control officer wants to take a look at this form and notices that I marked a few ”yes” boxes.
Then I’m allowed to proceed towards the exit and the next checkpoint.
The next officer also looks at the form and then asks, ”Where is your tent?” I point to my North Face bag, and the officer tells me to follow the red line. There are also yellow and green lines. Now, I’m asked more questions about the tent, and they also want me to produce it.
I hand the woman my North Face bag, and she goes through a door and asks me to wait.
After about 10 minutes, she returns and says…
– We found some ants in your tent, and you have two options. You leave your tent here, and we destroy it for free.
I look at the woman as if she’s joking and say…
– Yes, but your other option is to let us send the tent for cleaning, but that will cost you about 160 NZD.
What do you do?
Starting an argument with these officers is out of the question, so I ask,…
– How many days do I have to wait to get it back?
– About a week.
I have no choice but to accept their offer, and I provide my address in Christchurch, my phone number, and email address.
– We’ll send you an email when and where you can pick up your tent.
Sigh, sigh, and more sighs, and now the time it’s almost half past two AM .
I’m tired and realize that my hostel tonight won’t be open when I arrive.
See yah later