Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Reading this news piece about trying to get Vegemite into the US reminded me of the time that my family (including my mother) took a holiday in Hawaii. We flew via Denver, where we refuelled.
As this was the first port of call that's where we went through immigration formalities.
So, there we were standing in line and I checked with my wife and kids that they had nothing that was likely to be confiscated by Ag and Fish (or whatever they're called).
When I got to my mother, deep down inside I knew that I would have a problem. My mother was (and still is) an elderly Italian, from an era when you travelled with food. In her day there were no roadside snack bars or motorway service areas, you had to carry what you were likely to need to eat and drink.
'OK, what have you got Ma', I said?
She looked a bit sheepish (I knew it) but she eventually admitted that amongst her various food stuffs was a melon. She had hidden it. I got angry because I had told her but also because I knew how tough they can be at immigration and if she failed to declare something, and they found it, we would all get turned over and we might even miss the onward connection.
My mother HATES throwing food away. She just couldn't accept that they wouldn't allow her food into the country.
What a row we had and that started a sulk that lasted almost another week. Never again I said to myself, but needless to say I did.
Now I've got Jan, who mum likes, who's very diplomatic (with the patience of a saint) and who mum listens to, to help me. Yippee.
PS That's not my mum, I just like the photo.