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in the Eurostar terminal in Paris 2 last year.
I had been travelling to and back form Poland as a child throughout the eighties, and then to and from Eastern Europe (including FRY and Russia) in the late nineties for business purposes. The rudest and most invasive question though I did get on this Eurostar terminal. The customs officers asked me questions such as "what's your occupation in the UK ?" "your husband's ? "does he consume drugs ?". I had been taught not to respond aggressively, but inside I was shaking with offence. I thought afterwards that if I had responded and expressed my disagreement with the way I was being treated, I would not have felt so demeaned and bruised.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 11:47:15 AM EST
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Well I did feel good, but if I had been a little bit more rational, I would have abstained from making any comments. Or would I tried humour maybe ("I don't think so, does chocolate count as a drug?"- with a big smile in order not to sound ironic/sarcastic). Because the comments I made are not the type of comments you'd want to try on a customs officer in some countries, which I won't name here. You'd end up with a body search at the very least ...

I understand you were shaken, I hate intrusions on my privacy (not that I consume drugs nowadays anyways, though back then I did have an occasional puff on a joint but didn't consider myself a "consumer").

by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 12:06:53 PM EST
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You and me know that astress and being rational seldom belong together. I never tried humour on a customs officer, I doubt whether they are not just immune to it altogether.
One thing that shocked me is the difference in treating foreigners with a green card and those without, last time I was at JFK airport 6 months ago.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 12:18:31 PM EST
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I never tried humour on a customs officer, I doubt whether they are not just immune to it altogether.

Excellent, hehe, I think you're right, they along with visa clerks in embassies, and this works with a few other similar professions, are probably recruited on the basis that they have no humour.

by Alex in Toulouse on Sun Jan 8th, 2006 at 12:27:47 PM EST
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