Saved by the Rickshaw

I don't usually buy souvenirs. I don't really see the point of buying something that you wouldn't otherwise buy, and probably don't need merely because you're in another country, cos I go to other countries quite a lot and if I fell into the habit of buying shit evey time I was in a foreign country then I would never stop buying shit.

However there are some objects that I think you just can't get back home in the UK which just HAVE to be bought at any price.

For example last time I was in Nepal, home of the magnificent Ghurkhas, I kicked myself for running out of money to buy a Khukri, the heavy curved knife that is synonymous with this awesome battalion of warriors. This was before I learnt about blogging, but I ran out of money completely and nearly couldn't get home.

It was also the time I took the walk in the mountains that nearly ended up with me being killed by Maoist rebels but you can read about that whenever you like.

Not so this time around though.

Darjeeling is full of Nepalese and so, when I saw a Khukri in a shop it was going to be mine at any price. Purchasing this fine beast of metal I packaged it up securely in a bag that I later bought made of camels leather in Rajasthan, securely padlocked it and forgot about it.

Later on, walking around Delhi I found a place that sold CNG Rickshaw models and decided that you lot and my Dosaboys readers would probably appreciate these, so I decided to buy a box to take home with me.

Trying to keep the number of items of baggage down I went out and bought this rather fetching Indian canvas number complete with Lipton-style Indian pimping on the sides. Functional and stylish.

With all my purchases in now, I proceeded to consolidate the package, stuffing the large box of model rickshaws into the bottom of the large Indian Lipton bag, followed by some camel leather photo albums and blog books and finally the padlocked camel leather bag, complete with knife as big as my head and proceeeded to the airport security check-in desk.

So the first bag, complete with 10 packets of local biris (total contents 200 mini-cigarettes: total cost 100 rupees which is just over a pound) and my remaining clean underpants goes through the x-ray machine.

No problem at all.

Then, goes the canvas bag complete with Knife as big as my head.

"Could you open your bag?" Said the security lady on the x-ray machine.

Dammit. Rumbled.

Fumbling to open my bag I mumble something incoherent, playing down the enormity of the rather large knife I'm about to pull out of my hold baggage by saying something like,

"erm look I've got erm a very small souvenir from Nepal in here"


WHAT THE HELL!?!?! It's longer than a foot of raw cold extra-carbonised steel made for the sole intention of killing people!

Well I wasn't going to say that was I...

As I fumbled around with the padlock on the leather bag, the lady on the machine got back to her screen and the checking guy, who didn't really know what he was looking for caught sight of the box at the bottom of the Lipton bag.

"What's in there?" he said, obviously assuming that the box was the container of the deadly item.

"erm...Rickshaws? 12 Model CNG Bajaj Autos?" I said

"Open it"

With the box open, he took a look at them, thought his x-ray woman was being a twat and waved me on my way.

So thanks to box of model rickshaws I managed hoodwink customs and bring a foot-long deadly weapon onto the plane and back home to the UK to sit merrily on my mantelpiece.

All hail the rickshaw!
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