Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Your Papers Please …

I placed my passport down on the counter in front of me. The man picked it up and, thumbing through, soon found what he was looking for: my ID with accompanying photo.

He continued to thumb through the little purple booklet. “Hmmm”, he sighed, “when were you in Morocco?” Clearly, he’d found my Moroccan visitor entry and exit stamp.

“Excuse me?” I replied.

Normally, I wouldn’t have minded answering his questions but seeing as I was only trying to pay for 4 short-sleeved shirts with a foreign credit card and the man in question was working behind the counter at C&A, I thought it more than a little rich. I had no idea that in order to purchase light-weight summer clothing in France, one was subjected to rigorous checks on personal travel movements.

“Is there anything else you’d like to know?” I hissed at him.

“Non.”

I snatched back my passport, my credit card and my 4 new shirts and made for the exit.

Us ‘bloody foreigners’ regularly have to produce some form of photographic proof that can identify us as the legitimate credit card holder. However, to be grilled by some arse-licking sycophant with about as much integrity as a stoat whilst trying to buy 4 blasted shirts is another thing.

See what happens when you're too thick to join the Police?

Stu

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