“Airport security, come with me”

26 Apr

My plane touched down at Devonport Airport in Tasmania, an island off the south eastern coast of Australia. Tassie as it’s known by Aussies is famous for the Tasmanian devil and jokes about inbreeding and off spring with extra digits. I suppose it has a lot of similarities with New Zealand, a couple of islands off the south eastern coast of Australia and all you have to do is change the Tasmanian devil for the kiwi and the inbreeding for sheep shagging – I should feel at home!

My thoughts of sheep shagging and extra digited off spring vanished as the seat belt signs were switched off and all the passengers did that frantic scramble to get their bag out of the overhead lockers only to wait standing up while the air hostess struggled with the door.

I exited the plane as the airport guys unloaded my bags on to the small cart and I headed in the direction of the small town airport terminal. My mind wondered what my new work colleagues would be like, and how the “exploration field assistant – fieldy” job would differ from my previous role in Western Australia’s desert. One thing was clear from what I saw out of the airplane window, there was going to be no red dirt, but a lot of green hills rolling into mountainous native bush, I felt as though I had just flown across the Tasman Sea and arrived on New Zealand’s west coast (I wonder if the sheep are less paranoid here in Tasmania?).

I entered the terminal doors and did the disguised relaxed look around where I try to look as though I’m not looking for someone but really I just look like a person who is trying to not look like he’s looking for someone. I eventually run out of waiting people that could be my new boss and I stand there looking like a 4 year old who’s lost his mother in a crowded shopping mall.

I get my cell phone out to call the number of my senior field assistant who is meant to be meeting me. As I’m putting in the number my arm is grabbed from behind and I spin around in 3rd world backpacker mode ready to defend my most expensive possessions (which currently amounts to a laptop that has no battery) in my day pack. I’m met by an athletic retired cop looking guy with short “steelo” like hair looking me in the eye, he says “airport security, come with me”.

As you know I haven’t really had much luck with airport security in the past and I tried to think what I had done or packed to warrant airport securities eagle eye. My mind was running “I no longer have dreadlocks, I didn’t pack my sheep, I left my 1kg of herion in Melbourne, ……”. As my night spent in cell 210 in Atlanta city prison before being deported from the states flashed before my eyes, the retired cop face beamed into a smile, “You must be the man, Hap is it? I’m Brendon your senior fieldy, nice to meet you”. – Gold, I think I’ll fit in just fine.

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