I learned something today...

...namely that cheese is a paste.

At Paris CDG, I figured that I should bring something home, and what would be better than a nice chunk of good Brie? (Well, many things, but there are only so much you can get at an airport.)

So, I go to the counter, and with my perfect French ask the clerk to sell it to me. He compliments me on my French (even if the only thing I can talk about is purchasing cheese). He then proceeds to pack my chunk-o-cheese in a transparent plastic bag.

"Oh, is that a liquid?" I ask, with my ten-word vocabulary. He smiles happily and responds:

"No sir, it's a paste!"

(Well, a good Brie is certainly not solid. But I never really thought it of as a paste. But if the French tell me cheese is a paste, then it is a paste. They know cheese.)


Logan Airport in Boston six weeks or so ago:

- "Sir, is there a large candle in your backpack?" -- "No, but feel free to inspect the contents."

(Suppressing the snappy "not that I know of"-reply was the best choice of the conversation.)

- "Sir, that glass jar is not allowed on the plane." -- "Why?" - "It contains too much liquid!" -- "There is no liquid in the jar." - "Sir, there's NOTHING BUT liquid in that jar. You are not allowed to fly with that." -- "Since when is solid mustard considered a liquid?" - "The jar contains liquids, it can not be taken further, you must deposit it here."

I expected a second guard to join in with an appropriate "resistance is useless"-yell, but he remained put.

So I didn't even get to sample what mustard cooked with maple syrup tastes like. Perhaps that was fortunate, but I prefer making my own choices when it comes to condiments.

--lavonardo, 18-Nov-2006

Bah. The exquisitely laid out text didn't come out very well, despite looking OK in the preview.

Sorry about that.

--lavonardo, 18-Nov-2006

I just flew to Oulu and back.

On my way there, I had a 30 ml tube of hand cream with me. Obviously, that is a liquid/paste/hydrocolloid/gel, so I knew to expect problems.

I knew about the rule of liquids having to be packed in clear, resealable plastic bags. But I thought this was because a dozen small bottles are easier to inspect if they all are in one bag. So I didn't bother, because I only had one such article with me.

Bad idea. The security guard told me that this single tube should be packed in a plastic bag. I was like, "why?" and she said that (you guessed it) "because it should".

So, I sealed my potentially lethal hand cream in the plastic bag which was kindly provided by the security guard.

After landing in Oulu I noticed that I had my Swiss army knife in my hand luggage. They had X-rayed the hand luggage, but the only thing they were worried about was that my single tube of hand cream should have been in a plastic bag. Who cares about a knife.

--avs, 20-Nov-2006

Maybe it is because you are not allowed carry sharp objects so you couldn't possibly open a plastic bag without them, hence putting things in plastic bags is safe...?

--JanneJalkanen, 20-Nov-2006

These new rules are so stupid.

And now doughnuts have been added to the list of weapons that terrorists can use to blow planes out of the sky. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/04/doughnut_danger/

--Hugo, 04-Dec-2006

Well, is it a surprise that a doughnut would end up on the do-not list?

Hehe. I kill myself. :-)

--JanneJalkanen, 04-Dec-2006

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