A Size Matter...

An early morning conversation with some Customs Officer.


-Officer (O): Ma’am, I have to ask you some security questions. OK?

- Me (A) (tired, sleepy, paused): OK

-O: Whose luggage is this?

-A: Mine

-O: How many suitcases did you check?

-A: One

-O: Just one?

-A: Just One

-O: Where did you pack them?

-A: At home

-O: Which is, where?

-A: Haarlem

-O: Haaaaaaalem, mmm. Who packed for you?

-A: I did.

-O: Did someone help you?

-A: Unfortunately not. (Giggles)


-O: Where do you work?

-A: Hoofddorp

-O: Where in Hoofddorp?

-A: Centrum (smile)

-O: Seriosly. Which company?

-A: Bluewater Energy Services

-O: What do you do there?

-A: (wanting to say: el ridículo) I’m a Process Engineer.

-O: Where did you study that Ma’am?

-A: Caracas – Venezuela

-O: Where in Caracas?

-A: (here we go again) Universidad Simón Bolívar. Valle de Sartenejas. Municipio Baruta. Estado Miranda. Venezuela.

-O: Where else, right?

-A: (???) Do you know it?

-O: My wife is Venezuelan.

-A: From Universidad Simón Bolívar?

-O: From San Juan de los Morros.

-A: (¿?) Hmm. (Smile)

-O: Where you goin’?...hmm. Miami, I see.

-A: First New York, then Miami.

-O: Staying with friends? Business or pleasure?

-A: JUST pleasure. Yes; I’m staying with friends in NYC and with family in Me-ah-me

-O: Any electronic devices?

-A: Yes, my mobile.

-O: Nothing else?

-A: No. No laptop. No nothing.

-O: So… You’ll meet your family in Miami…

-A: Yeah.

-O: …and you’ll take pictures, right?

-A: (??) um-hmm

-O: No camera?

-A: I got my mobile. No camera. My camera is broken. I’ll buy a new one.

-O: right. The crisis.

-A: (??)

-O: Wait a moment, please.


He goes and talks to the other guy/officer and shows my passport and residence permit card. Both smile.

Then, he returns, gives me the card back and:

-O: Nice picture.

-A: Thank you. I think so too.

-O: Here you go. (Passport and boarding pass)

-A: Thank you.

-O: How did you find this job here, Miss?

-A: Long story short…Toevallig (Just casually, in Dutch).

-O: Oh, je spreekt Nederlands (you speak Dutch). How come?

-A: I lived in Belgium before. Now I live here.

-O: I see…


By the time I was awake enough to realize I was already set free, this guy starts speaking in a very clear Venezuelan Spanish to me:

-O: Are you a model in your free time?

-A: (free time? Does that exist anyway?) No. (I smiled)

-O: Awh. What a pity, what a waste!

-A: HA-HA-HA. Have you seen my height?

-O: It’s not size what matters. It’s the quality what counts.

-A: (smiling). Who am I to contradict a customs officer?

-O: You’re wise. Have a great flight and come back soon.

-A: Thanks.