I’ve been traveling for the last 25 hours. I’ve been through several time changes, and my meal cycle is a bit confused. So in Charlotte, I bought some beef jerky when I wasn’t hungry, since I would need a snack before I got to LA at 8:45pm (which would feel like 11:45pm to me). So I ate some of it on the flight, what seems like 3 days ago.
Today, after a 12.5 hour flight, I filled out an arrival card for customs and checked the box that said I had food in my bag. When asked, I mentioned, “brownies my mom made, peanuts…” and the guy nodded like, “you’re fine.”
Then, as I was 4 meters away from the way out, a dog sniffed my bag and I was almost tackled. I instantly started to panic…are they threatened by my Dolly Sandybanks hobbit pocket knife/flashlight?
A security officer asked hurriedly, “do you have fruit?!”
I replied, “no ma’am…” the dog continued to sniff away. The lady held up my beef jerky like it was a dead rat. She said, “this is not allowed.” I said, “ok, I’m sorry.”
I was reprimanded for not telling the customs officer that I had .84 ounces of beef jerky. I apologized, saying, “I checked the food box….and I’m sorry I didn’t mention the jerky.” Whoa. I also had pistachios that I haven’t told a soul about.
I then was taken into a smaller office and told the fine would be 400 NZ dollars (336.48 US dollars). I said, “it’s my birthday.” And might’ve cried 3 sad birthday tears.
He said, in a sweet accent, “oh sheesh, that’s a real bugger.”