How do you feel about television spoilers? Unlike most people, I don’t mind knowing how a story (or season) ends before watching the actual episodes. It’s like knowing your destination in advance before traveling. Like what I recently said on Twitter, most of the fun happens during the journey itself.
After what I went through this week, I feel like taking that statement back. It’s been a madhouse over the past few days but I finally made it here in Mumbai, India. The journey here (via Thai Airways) was hardly smooth as silk. My flight to Bangkok was a disaster. What was meant to be a two and a half hour flight turned into a whole day affair. I went to the airport at 11AM for a flight that was meant to leave at 1:05PM. Due to technical difficulties on my original flight, I ended up taking another flight a full eight hours later… at 9:30PM! It was midnight by the time I arrived in Bangkok and because of my luggage situation, I didn’t get out of airport until around 1:30AM. Since I missed my connecting flight to Mumbai that night, I was placed on the next available flight at 8:40AM the next day. That means a) I had to be at the airport a little after 6AM and b) no sleep for me in spite while waiting at yet another airport hotel for five hours…
Fast forward to Mumbai, I was stopped by Indian Customs Officials when I got here. They opened my suitcases in front of everyone and found a laptop, a camera, an iPad and three cellphones. They tried to pull a fast one on me. They invented some random perceived value for my USED electronics, before demanding that I pay 36% taxes even if a) they’re for personal use and b) I’m not an Indian citizen. They asked me why I have three phones and I said well, one is my Asian number, one is my US number and one is my European cell. One of them argued that I’m giving away my phones as a gift. I have no idea what drugs they were taking because clearly they are incapable of telling the difference between a used and a new phone. Do I look like the type who give used phones as presents? I refused to budge on what clearly was an extortion attempt so I called my Indian hosts. While waiting, I saw that they stopped this pretty Indian lady because she had an iPad. Same thing — they tried to extort money from her but she said her iPad was used and for personal use. She then showed personal photos to Customs Officials. Ka-ching! That prompted me to do the same thing with my phones — to counteract their argument that I’m giving away phones as gifts, I showed them yes, naked (but tasteful, think Blake Livelyesque shots) pictures of me in the bathroom. I told them I have very personal photos on my phone and there’s no way I’d give them out. They eventually believed me and let me go without paying a single dime.
It was a harrowing experience but to be honest with you, it could’ve been worse. I was surprised they didn’t open my camera tripod case. That’s where I keep my vibrator — an exact, latex copy of my boyfriend’s peen (cloneawilly.com). Don’t judge now. Homegirl got needs too! Can you imagine some middle-aged Indian guy waving my vibrator around the airport asking what that thing is? That would be THE day.
Namaste Mumbai! I’m glad to be back in India.