[Homeroast] bring back green beans
coffee at starf.org
Sat Sep 18 09:34:26 CDT 2010
My brother in law is an Australian Quarantine Officer (that's what they call
their ag inspectors, the equivalent of APHIS here). Their purpose, and the
purpose of APHIS in the US, is to safeguard their regions against exotic
pests of any and all kinds ---bugs, plants, animals, fungi, bacterial,
viral, etc. As long as you don't try to sneak stuff past them, they will
treat you with respect, and will simply tell you what items you can and
can't bring in. If you have the misfortune to clear customs in a
lower-volume region used for training (like Cairns), you will be subjected
to a much more thorough inspection. It is always best to clear customs in
Sydney, which has such a high volume of passengers that they aren't going to
spend more time messing with you than is strictly necessary to get the job
done. Often, Ag is much quicker than customs. I learned about the green
coffee import license when I brought 25 pounds of green down for my father,
and wasn't allowed to bring it in ---but they were very nice about it, and
held the coffee for me while I decided whether I wanted to pay to get the
license. When I didn't, they were willing to let me take the coffee back
with me to the states, as long as I was on a direct flight out of the
TSA, on the other hand, I must agree, is an utter sham, a window dressing of
security that seems designed mostly to inconvenience the traveling public
enough to give them the false sense that they must be safe. All I can say
is that it is a good thing that most terrorist-minded people are none too
bright, because I can think of a good dozen ways to sneak lethal weaponry
past the checkpoints. The liquids ban is truly silly. Last year they
protected the world from the imminent threat of my quart of fine sheep's
milk yogurt. And I dread the day they try to make me stand in a backscatter
radiation machine (those hold your hands out and stand still for 7 seconds
cubicles).... my "hell no" is going to make that trip a real headache.
On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 5:55 AM, Hank Perkins <hankperkins at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have been flying for 30 years and don't consider myself to be a
> road warrior but a frequent traveler. Today I drive on any trip where
> the distance is less than 12 hours and time allows. So far this year
> I have 12 trips via air travel and approximately 50 nights in hotel
> rooms. I am a fat middle aged white guy with no facial hair.
> My dealings with Customs agents, agriculture inspectors, and
> immigration officials have all been positive professional experiences.
> TSA is another matter. at least once every 10 flights I get pulled
> out of line and given the business. In the last 10 years I have seen
> an Arab pulled out of line for a luggage search once, 3 months ago. I
> have been treated badly by TSA many times and can tell stories that
> are quite embarrassing. I have tried being friendly & courteous and
> only speaking when spoken to. The latter has served me better. This
> year I have forgotten to pull my liquids out of the bag twice, they
> didn't catch it either time. There are TSA agents who are
> professional but I can tell horror stories about other TSA agents who
> think they are in the SS. The problem I see here is they answer to no
> I would be less concerned about Customs agents than TSA Agents.
> Quantas will help you with the forms, be sure to fill them out
> truthfully and completely. Plan plenty of time when you get back to
> LAX. My last trip from Australia, 18 months ago we had 4.5 hours
> between flights at LAX. We never sat down and almost missed our
> connecting flight. The wife and I were dealing with TSA for
> approximately 90 minutes of the 4.5 hours (it was bad). My advice,
> PACK THEM IN YOUR CHECKED LUGGAGE!! I would not expect TSA to see
> green beans very often and things that they don't see often are what
> causes them issues.
> You will love Australia. The people are great, food is unequaled, and
> the coffee is fantastic. It is one of my favorite countries to visit.
> Be sure to drink espresso drinks down under. The coffee there has
> strong European roots. We were there for 14 days and I did not have a
> bad meal.
> On Sat, Sep 18, 2010 at 6:37 AM, John A C Despres <johndespres at gmail.com>
> > Coming back from Mexico recently where I had visited a plantation, I came
> > back through the agriculture line as I had been on a farm. I had my
> > form all made out with the green coffee as one item on the list.
> > First off, it was a very short line - only me, I breezed past everyone
> > The gaurd looked over my list, but was more interested in what kind of
> > I visited.
> > "A coffee plantation"
> > "Okay. Did you see any animals there"
> > "Yes, horses, maybe three"
> > "Any cows, goats or pigs?"
> > "Nope. A couple chickens, though."
> > "Ah, that's fine. Thank you, sir and welcome back. Have a nice day."
> > "Thank you. You too."
> > That was easy. What coffee?
> > John
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