My blog readers know I like travelling.
I have been to many countries and been asked many questions by border guards many times about why I am visiting their country. As a genuine visitor, those questions are always easy to answer.
It was a chilly Saturday morning and I was in line with many other vehicles to cross a border where there are strict controls. I was on a rented motorbike and I was looking forward to meeting a fellow Blogger whose blog I had been reading for some time.
I didn’t give it a second thought as I knew crossing this border would be easy. The queue was moving relatively quickly as I sat there, occasionally firing the engine of the bike to life to roll the bike forward whenever a gap of a few car lengths had developed.
Eventually, the car in front of me drove away from the booth and it was my turn. I hit the kill switch on the bike as I drew level with the window and handed over my passport. The immigration guy looked at me, my bright red shiny bike and no doubt my helmet. I was wearing the sparkly and somewhat garish Union Jack Flag helmet that I had worn when I crossed the USA on my bike last year. I think it looks good, but I can understand if some think it a little over-the-top.
The immigration guy started to ask his questions....
How long would I be in his country? 2 days.Had I been to his country before? Yes.Was the visit for business or pleasure? Pleasure.What did I do for work? I am retired.Is this your own bike? No, I rented it.
All standard stuff. That was, until he asked his next question, which of course I answered with the truth....
And what are you going to do here during those 2 days?
I wish I had thought more about the answer beforehand....
I am going to meet a guy I met on the Internet.
In hindsight, I realise that wasn’t the best of answers. I felt stupid and it probably showed in my face. Why did I say that?!?!?
It was a dumb thing to say as it immediately led to more questions, the first of which was something like “Can you please explain that some more”.
The hole I was digging for myself got deeper....
I write about my travels on the internet and the guy I am going to meet does the same, and we thought it would be nice to meet each other.
As I said that, I just knew it sounded so wrong. I was now flustered and felt awkward at my honest, but odd answers.
The questions continued for some time, but after typing something into his computer, eventually he did let me into his country....