Well, there you have it, I thought. I'm sure I'm being singled out because of my dreads. We smilingly did as we were asked, and the customs officer cast a discreet glance at my hair. I smiled at visions of myself sitting on the conveyor belt, riding through the X-ray machine.
When they pulled our bags out the other side, though, they had a different set of suspicions concerning us.
"We need to see in this bag," the officer said, tapping Julien's blue and gray backpack.
No problem. Julien pulled it over to the table, and the x-ray inspector said something else to his colleague.
"We need to see in that bag, too," said the officer, pointing at my pack, already neatly stowed on our trolley. "You have a knife here." He patted the top of my bag.
"Yep, I have two." And proceeded to pull out Opinel knives and a corkscrew wine opener. "Don't ask why we have so many," I quipped, and he didn't.
From his bag, Julien pulled out a black blade that my cousin Joe had given him. The officer looked at it warily and then handed it back to Julien, saying that switchblade knives aren't allowed in the country but that this one was okay. Little did he know, if you know how to use the knife, the blade comes out almost as quickly and dangerously.
We felt quite tough and villainous, I can tell you, having shown our three knives and knowing there was another in the bag that they hadn't seen.
We smothered our giggles and walked calmly away. Customs had thought to find a druggie and found two wine-drinking ninjas instead.