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border-stories-msg - 4/30/17


Stories about crossing international borders for SCA events.


NOTE: See also the files: SCA-hist1-msg, SCA-stories1-msg, you-know-msg, vanity-plates-msg, placenames-msg, child-stories-msg, Two-Score-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: andrew at morgan.ucs.mun.ca (Andrew Draskoy)

Date: 14 May 91 23:49:27 GMT

Organization: Memorial University of Newfoundland



>Does anyone have any classic SCA "interview" stories to share?


Well, this was a different kind of interview, but...


On the way to my first Pennsic last year, I had to run the usual

guantlet of airport customs and immigration officers.  Now, if you've

ever flown over a (mundane) border to an S.C.A. camping event, you'll

know what was running through my head.  "Please don't ask too many

questions... please don't want to open everything up, I'll never be

able to put it all back together again.  I don't want to explain why my

camping gear includes daggers and goblets, and why I've got all these

funny clothes, and what the bodhran is."


The fellow at the immigration counter asked me where I was going.

Safe enough.  What was I going to do there?  Go camping.  Was I meeting

friends or family?  Hmmmm... well, I'm sure they'll become friends,

but it's probably easier to say... "No."

"So, you're going camping in the woods all by yourself?"  he said

suspiciously. "Well, no," says I.  "Aha!  So you *ARE* meeting family

or friends!" expounds he, delightedly.  Heaving a mental sigh, I resign

myself to saying  "I'll be with a group of people who do historical

re-enactment." This is what I was told to say by seasoned Pennsic

veterns. "Avoid mentioning the S.C.A., or the word 'medieval'", they said.

"What time period?" queries the surly border guard? "Shit", thinks I.

When I tell him, he says something like "Are you part of that Creative


"Society for Creative Anachronism", I said.  "Oh!  You're going to Pennsic!"

says he.  "Go on through."

..... "!!!"  says I.

   .   .   .

I related this to a couple of people one day.  Several hours later, at

a distant part of the site, I passed a group of gentles I didn't know,

going the other way.  They were listening to their leader, and as I

passed them by, I heard him conclude:

   "Oh, you're going to *Pennsic*!  Go on through."

Stories travel fast in the society!


There is a wonderful story I had from Lord Emrys Hawkwind about a

king of the East going through customs at Heathrow, which I haven't

seen mentioned on the Rialto.  I'd like to hear other versions if

anyone knows it.


Sandor fia Lord Miklos          Andrew Draskoy

Shire of Ar n-Eilean-ne, EK     Memorial University of Newfoundland

andrew at bransle.ucs.mun.ca



From: joshua at paul.rutgers.edu (Josh Mittleman)

Date: 15 May 91 17:42:42 GMT

Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Greetings from Arval!  Lord Miklos posts a delightful story of SCAdians at

the border.  Along with the Four Barbarians at the Burger Joint Story, this

is one of my favorite pieces of SCA/mundane mythology.  My definition of

SCA mythology, by the way, is anything that I hear attributed by name to

more than two groups of people.  After it happens that many times, the

storyteller is free to embroider the tale as seems appropriate.  I think

this makes the fourth example of this story that I've heard, and they're all

fun. The one I tell has an extra twist: The border guard was a SCAdian

himself, and wished them "Good luck at Pennsic, and say Hi to Hasdrubal for



The story of the King of the East at customs at Heathrow is probably one

version of the Saga of Aelfwine in England, which has several parts.  The

one in question was related to me thus (with less than the usual



It came to pass that Aelfwine, King of the Easterlings, travelled across

the ocean to visit his subjects upon the British Isles.  As this was a

ceremonial visit, he brought with him all the necessary bits and pieces:

haubrake, crowns, sword, and so on.  Upon reaching those distant shores,

the local immigration official required him to open his luggage for

inspection, and was most disconcerted by that which he discovered within.

Politely asking Aelfwine to wait a moment, he fled to find a supervisor.

As the inspector and his supervisor returned along the corridor, the

supervisor was overheard to say "Don't be silly.  It's been 900 years since

anyone came to England with armor and a sword, and they didn't stop at






From: storm at hlafdig.stonemarche.ORG (Arastorm the Golden)

Date: 24 May 91 18:56:28 GMT


       Hey, an SCA legend correct! I guess it isn't old enough

yet. Well, actually, it wasn't at Heathrow- we went out through

heathrow, we came in on the ferry across the channel. The

funny thing was that they kept looking at the sword and the

mail (and the long blond hair, I suppose) and of course I was

carrying our 6 liter drinking horn, and sending back for

someone of higher rank- and this was around 2 in the morning!

Aelfwine actually was frisked on his way into the Tower the

first time, so he went back the next day wearing the mailshirt,

and they didn't frisk him! Disappointment. We were carrying

around the Crowns everywhere because they were the Cariadoc

crowns and we didn't dare leave them anywhere- that caused a

bit of a stir on the way into the British Museum. At Heathrow

we were late because of a rare 2" snowfall and we ran at the

metal detectors full tilt to avoid missing the plane, AElfwine

stripping off his coat and mail shirt as he ran to throw it

through the luggage metal detector, and the lady handling it

tried to stop him shouting:"No streaking! No Streaking!" The

mail didn't bother her, his taking it off did. Ah well. Any

other questions?


Arastorm the Golden ("hlafdig" is the Saxon spelling of "lady")

(603)654-2601 or 654-5317  PO Box 43, So.Lyndeboro, NH 03082

-->storm%hlafdig at hern.stonemarche.org



From: Colin_Hart at mindlink.bc.ca (Colin Hart)

Date: 16 May 91 00:35:29 GMT

Organization: MIND LINK! - British Columbia, Canada


Well I have never flown across with all my SCA gear, but I have crossed the

49th parallel many times heading for an event and a few stick out.

Once I was going to a day tourney in the Shire if Shittemwood(Bellingham

WA),and I had a couple of pole arms in the roof rack, the Troll (Border Guard)

started asking all the usual questions and then paused as he spotted the

weapons and said"AH there's a Little anachronism going on this weekend"and the

whole tone of questions changed! the second one that stands out is when asked

the purpose of my visit to the USA I stated that I was attending a meeting of

my medieval historical society( long winded but from experience I know it

works!) and the Guard came back with "Ah the Society For Creative Anachronism

Fast Eddies contemporaries!" Fast Eddie is a name possibly better known to many

as Viscount Sir Edward Zifran Bastard D Gendy. So we are known at the borders!


Colin MAckay of Balmaghie Lions Gate An Tir, Taking time out from packing and

cooking for Crown.



From: mjc+ at cs.cmu.edu (Monica Cellio)

Date: 20 May 91 03:25:57 GMT

Organization: Carnegie-Mellon University, CS/RI


I am reminded of a story told by Mistress Megan ni Laine, a scribe and

Baroness Stonemarche (East Kingdom).


Megan has done a lot of research on period pigments, and has even

received mundane research grants to do some of the studies.  On one

occasion, she was in Italy searching for the basis for a particular red

or brown pigment.  It had come from the ground or clay in a certain part

of Italy, but in the intervening 5-600 years the area had changed and it

was no longer easy to get.  Fortunately, she somehow found some old bricks

which she thought were made of the right sort of clay, and after acquiring

them ("what, you want some bricks?  No problem.  Oh, you want *those*

bricks. Sure, whatever you say..."), she headed off to the airport and



Naturally, the bricks were impervious to X-rays, and she had to show them

to the security people.  The security people couldn't understand why she

wanted to transport bricks from Italy back to the US, and insisted that

she must be concealing something in them.  No, she said, they're just

bricks. The security people suggested breaking open some of these bricks

to make sure that's all they were.


And so it was that Megan was spared much of the work of having to reduce

the bricks to powder to paint with them.


Ellisif Flakkingskvinne



From: lawbkwn at BUACCA.BITNET (Yaakov HaMizrachi/HJFeld)

Date: 27 May 91 16:19:16 GMT


My own customs story: As I was coming back

from Israel, I was stopped by the customs folks.

My lack of touristy goods (all I had bought was

a dombec) and my general appearance (long-haired

bearded youth travelling alone), made them very

suspiscious. On top of that, I was feeling very

disoriented from the 14 hour trip and from

switching languages.  As they were riffling through

my lugage, they found a silver armband which--I

suppose-- looks like the sort of thing a tourist

would buy.

"Where'd you get this?" --says they.

"That," says I, "was given to me by his Grace

Duke Sir Cariaodoc at the last Pennsic War for

my skill at story-telling."

I was strip searched, but the look on their faces

was worth it.





Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: bcfrench at mothra.syr.edu (Barbara C. French)

Subject: Border crossings

Organization: Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 93 10:01:21 EST


Fighters aren't the only ones who get in trouble at the border . . .


A group of us in a school van were crossing at the Ogdensburg-Prescott

bridge on our way to a nonfighting event in Canada. None of us had armor,

then, and we had all agreed to keep all steel back home for the trip. We

had one sixteen-year-old girl with us who was going to require extra

paperwork (her parents were not going with her, and we had to present

certain documents to take her across the border legally).


Anyway, they decided we looked just odd enough to search the van (some of

the people were in garb). We let them search. After a few minutes, a

uniformed customs officer, looking very gruff and grim, returned and said

in a loud voice, "Will the owner of the blue plastic box please come with me?"


Well, that was me. Confused, I followed the Customs officer back to the

van. I am a scribe, and my blue box is my art box where I carry my

travelling scribe's kit. Another Customs official was systematically

removing the caps on all of my paint tubes and ink bottles and sniffing

each one!


With a flourish worthy of a cop who'd found crack, he produced a small jar

and demanded to know what it was.


I explained it was adhesive for gold leaf. When he looked suspicious, I

got out my burnisher, my package of leaf and carefully explained the

process of leafing.


He didn't look convinced and went away. The other officer stuck around

until he was sure he knew how to leaf!




Caitrin Gordon, Delftwood, Aethelmearc



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: KGORMAN at ARTSPAS.watstar.uwaterloo.ca

Subject: Re: Border crossings

Organization: University of Waterloo

Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1993 17:25:58 GMT


nusbache at epas.utoronto.ca (Aryk Nusbacher) writes:


>US Immigration Officer: Dammit, son, you've got a car full of armour.

>Why didn't you say you were going to an SCA event? It's important to

>tell the whole truth all of the time.  If you're going to visit

>friends, then say you're going to visit friends.  If you're going to

>an SCA event, then say you're going to an SCA event.  Understand?


>Nusbacher:      Yes, sir.


And the next time he comes up to Immigration:


Officer: Where are you going?


Nusbacher: To an SCA event.


Officer: What's an SCA event?


Nusbacher: It's ....


Officer: Sure son, step out of the car ...






From: salley at niktow.canisius.edu (David Salley)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Border crossings

Date: 26 Nov 93 11:59:32 GMT

Organization: Canisius College, Buffalo NY. 14208


Caitrin Gordon (Barbara C. French) writes:

> Fighters aren't the only ones who get in trouble at the border . . .

> After a few minutes, a

> uniformed customs officer, looking very gruff and grim, returned and said

> in a loud voice, "Will the owner of the blue plastic box please come with me?"

> Well, that was me. Confused, I followed the Customs officer back to the

> van. I am a scribe, and my blue box is my art box where I carry my

> travelling scribe's kit. Another Customs official was systematically

> removing the caps on all of my paint tubes and ink bottles and sniffing

> each one!

        [Remainder of story deleted.]


Megan the Limner is a laurel for illumination.  At Pennsic, she's the merchant

with the 'authentic from the blueprints up gypsy wagon that _just happens_ to

fit on a standard trailer frame'.  She's a professional artist mundanely as



Megan not only sells paints, but also the components, powders etc. most of

which were authentically made.  When she crossed the border into Canada to

teach, she took the whole lock stock and barrel with her.  At customs, the

officer asked her what all this was.  She replied "Painting supplies."

"Mind if we test some of them?"  "No, go ahead."  The customs officer took

a vial of white powder, opened it, stuck his little finger in, brought his

finger up to his nose, sniffed it and then started to put the white powder

in his mouth!  Megan slapped his hand away and yelled "NO!! THAT'S WHITE LEAD!"

(extremely toxic!)  The officer became extremely obnoxious and she almost

got arrested, hell of an attitude towards someone who's just saved your life!

It took her about an hour to get through customs.


                                                      - Dagonell


SCA Persona : Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr

Habitat          : East Kingdom, AEthelmearc Principality, Rhydderich Hael Barony

Internet    : salley at niktow.cs.canisius.edu

USnail-net : David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York 14212-2029

Time Traveller's Etiquette Tip #6: Your senior-most self should speak first.



From: salley at niktow.canisius.edu (David Salley)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Border crossings

Summary: Long story

Date: 26 Nov 93 12:39:23 GMT

Organization: Canisius College, Buffalo NY. 14208


To set up the tale; an experienced SCAdian and a newbie were going to Pennsic.

The newbie had been throughly coached as to what to say to the nice customs

man. "We're going to an annual convention of amateur historians, got it?"

"Got it."


They arrived at customs, the *large* customs official leaned into the car

window and asked "Where ya goin'?"  Whereupon the newbie's enthusiasm bubbled

to the surface, "We're going to the War!" "WHAT! You're going where???"

The experienced SCAdian interrupts at this point, desperately trying to

maintain a cheerful smile as things grow black around her, "Heh, heh! That's

just our little name for it within the group, we're going to an annual

convention of amateur historians down near Pittsburgh." "What cha'all gonna

be doin' at this 'convention'?" The experienced SCAdian explains about costumes

and classes, and dances, and fighting..." "WHAT! You're bring weapons into

this country!!!"  The SCAdian explains that *they* don't have any weapons in

the car, and the 'martial recreations' are done with fake swords made out of

rattan. After a *lot* more explaining, the customs official finally says,

"Well, I guess you all seem harmless enough, I'll let'cha go... Oh, just *one*

more thing." The first phrase creates a light at the end of a long dark

tunnel, the second snuffs it.  They both turn to the large customs official

who is grinning at them, "Y-y-yes?"  "When you all get to your 'convention',

... tell the Dark Horde that Long Knife will be there Thursday!" ;-) ;-) ;-)


                                                      - Dagonell


SCA Persona : Lord Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake, CSC, CK, CTr

Habitat          : East Kingdom, AEthelmearc Principality, Rhydderich Hael Barony

Internet    : salley at niktow.cs.canisius.edu

USnail-net : David P. Salley, 136 Shepard Street, Buffalo, New York 14212-2029

Time Traveller's Etiquette Tip #6: Your senior-most self should speak first.



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: v081lu33 at ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu (Kenneth C Mondschein)

Subject: Ealdormerians alert: things NOT to tell the boarder guard

Organization: University at Buffalo

Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 04:31:00 GMT


Greetings to our friends in Ealdomere!


        The follwing is a list (by no means inclusive) of things NOT to tell

the boarder guards as you cross into America to attend Ice Dragon.


1.) "We're invading!"

2.) "While in America, we plan to wear funny clothes and hit each other with


3.) "Blue Jays! Nyyyaaaahhhh!"

4.) "How 'bout them Bills?"

5.) "Anything to declare? How about war?"

6.) "Would you mind if we painted a dotted line across the middle of the Peace


7.) "Uh, you guys can have your Vietnam draft dodgers back..."

8.) "We're a member of the British Commonwealth and you're not! Nyyah!"

9.) "That's not a broadsword, it's a *bong*!"

10.) "Our beer is better. Pbbbbbtttt!"





From: conklinc at beagle.colorado.EDU (CONKLIN)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: flying

Date: 24 Jun 1994 13:18:01 -0400


>meg at tinhat.stonemarche.org sez:

>-> I once had to unpack my

>-> carryon at a checkpoint because the shape of my hairdryer looked

>-> suspicious.


>Reminds me of one time my dad was going through security, carrying a

>variety of hand tools.  Do you have any idea what a caulk gun looks

>like on a x-ray machine?  Even more so with a strategically placed

>hammer lying under it?  Got everyone very excited!


>(The answer - AK-whatever it is.  The Russian thing)


And then there was the time that I was on my way from Three Rivers to

Caer Galen to photograph Duke Christopher and Countess Cymber's

wedding. I packed up some mundane clothes (not for a business trip for

a change!), grabbed my standard,

always-packed-with-toothpaste-shampoo-etc... carryon and went merrily

off to Lambert International airport. I really didn't understand why

the nice people at the security check became so upset, until one of

them pulled my antler (shed not killed - sorry I live in Boulder, the

most politically correct place on the face of the planet - I'm also a

environmental conservation major) and malachite handled feast knife

out - the one with the 9 inch blade. After an extended explination of

"I just forgot it was in there" and a display of the purpose of said

item (it was only sharp enough to cut cooked food, not live people),

the security guard allowed me to call my baby brother to come and get

it, and she held it at the security check for me/him. My father

(retire AF colonel) was quite distressed over the incident and called

his buddies at where ever to make sure that I wasn't on some

govermental agency list that would cause them to come and visit us

late at night with dogs and guns and prevent me from ever getting a

security clearance.


I'm really good about checking for pointy objects in my bags now....


Chendra Rudd ferch Arainwen

Caer Galen, the Outlands


-the redhead-



From: ayotte at milo.UUCP (Robert Arthur Ayotte)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: YKYITSCAW...

Date: 10 Oct 1994 20:24:10 -0400


You know your in the SCA when....you do things and do not really consider it



       Last weekend I attended an event in Castel Rouge (Winnipeg) and had

a boarder crossing to deal with.  I had never been stopped going INTO Canada

and was a bit surprised.  I was carrying several hundred dollars of unset

stones which I will be setting into a coronet, and was taking them up to

show the folks that were commissioning the work as well as talk about how I

decided on the design (the photocopies of paintings and such).

       I told the boarder guard I was going up to teach a class for some

friends as a cover that was close to true and would explain the rock and

metal I had with me. Unfortunatly the word "teach" means your getting paid

and that means working, and that sets off bells. (From now on I go as a guest

speaker, they have no problem with that).

       Well I waited the 20 minutes for my turn with the Customs fella, he

asked me what I was going to be doing, and told him, matter of fact I had

launched into explainations of basic design consideration for later periods

focusing on Italy and had been going when I noticed his eyes were sort of

glazed over and he was not blinking much, so I paused and gave him time to

intercede. It took a second but he gave a little start, and said that he was

going to note me as a guest speaker and let's go and have the guards send me

on my way.


       I really didn't think it much but annoying until reading about the

sporting goods fella and steel shot, then I realized that it's probably not

too often one get's a government offical speachless, much less that there are

folks that do have a clue about historical recreational bits and thingies.





From: Alex_Hart at mindlink.bc.ca (Alex Hart)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Canadian Crossing

Date: Tue, 18 Apr 95 18:23:14 -0800

Organization: MIND LINK! - British Columbia, Canada


This reminds me of a story about the crossing of the line from one of (if

not the) first An Tir West wars ...


One gentle from this barony (Lions Gate) had access to a 3 ton truck and

vounteered to take everone's encampment down across the line (for a fee to

cover gas etc).

At the border the guard decided soemone should have a look at this as it

did look strange (I don't know why a large assortment of strange looking

weapons, tents, stoves, clothing, tables etc would look  out of place :-) )

and since *he* was on "point" *he* wouldn't have to and so was quite glad

to send the driver and co-driver in for inspection.

As they got towards the front of the line, it became change around time and

those inside went out and vice versa.

Guess who was assigned to have a look at the truck's cargo ? Murphy is not

always malevolent :-)(to everyone at the same time that is)

After a cursory look around without opening or moving anything, he decided

life was too short for whatever was on this truck,and he uttered the famous

"I don't want to know about this - get it out of here " line, which, of

course was promptly obeyed !


Alastair the Eastern Traveller

Lions Gate, An Tir



From: judecf at aol.com (JudeCF)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re:  Canadian Crossing

Date: 29 Apr 1995 20:58:36 -0400


I have a great SCA Canadian border story, too.  Years ago, when I was

Philippa d'Angleterre of the Cleftlands in the Midrealm, before the

heralds decided I couldn't use the "of England" since I wasn't the QUEEN

of England, we were crossing in Michigan on the way to Toronto for a

Crown. Same as others, the border guards were suspicious of our blades

and cut us out of the herd to check us out.  We explained about SCA and I

produced my membership card.  The guard flipped right out, and gallically

started waving his arms and shouting.  Apparently, he had temporarily lost

his capacity to speak English.  He kept sputtering and finally managed to

spit out, while pointing to his own ID badge, "Je suis PHILIPPE

d'Angleterre!!!" And indeed he was, according to his badge.  They

immediately stopped rummaging thru our baggage and waved us right through.

Absolutely true story.  No sh*t, there we were!


And all my old friends (to refresh your memories, I was the first editor

of the "Pennsic Progress"), post me sometime.  I still show up at events

occasionally (certainly Pennsic).  I am now Moriseqti of the Dark Horde

Moritu, and I can be reached at JudeCF at AOL.com.



From: trent_shields at sunshine.net (Trent Shields)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: ykyitscaw

Date: 12 Jul 1995 20:44:01 GMT

Organization: The Sunshine Coast, BC Canada


You know you're on the way to a big event when the border guard asks if you

have any weapons, besides swords, to declare.



From: "Jeanne C. Stapleton" <jstaplet at adm.law.du.edu>

To: markh at risc.sps.mot.com

Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 15:24:21 -0800

Organization: University of Denver, College of Law

Subject: Border crossing story:  no shit, I was there!


Greetings Lord Stefan:


I was once Queen of An Tir.  The second event I went to in kingdom

after my Coronation was Clinton War, held the last week of August

every year at a lovely private site in southern British Columbia.


This was the first time I had been to the site, and the first time

I had attempted to cross the border with any of the regalia (like,

say, the throne and crown).  I'd crossed the border lots of times

to and from events, and never had any real trouble (although there

was the border guard who was a former history teacher who insisted

on giving us a five-minute quiz on the economy of England after the

Black Death).


We pulled up to the toll plaza at Blaine.  (For the information of

non-An Tirian readers, there are three major crossing from the I-5

corridor into the metro Vancouver and environs area:  Peace Arch, Blaine

and Lynden.)  I had with me a young lady on my retinue.  We were

clad in shorts and T-shirts.


Guard: Where are you from?


We:    Seattle. Bellevue.


Guard: Any firearms, pepper spray, mace?


We:    Nope. Of course not, sir.


Guard: Destination?


We:    Clinton, B.C.  Camping for the week with our historical group.


Guard: You're going to Clinton War?


We:    [long pause]  Yes sir, you've heard of it?


Guard: The SCA, right?  yeah, a bunch of you been coming through

        here, swords, tents, shields, everything.


We:    No kidding!  That's great!  yes, we're going to Clinton

        for the rest of the week.


Guard: What roles do you play?


We:    [long pause] Er, I'm Kathleen. -- Well, actually, I'm the



Guard: No kidding!  Where's your crown?


[I remove the Queen's Crown of An Tir from its box in the front seat

and hold it aloft.]


Guard: [shouting up and down the line of booths]  Hey guys, I got

        the Queen here!  Look, she's got a crown!


We held up traffic for about 10 minutes at the border while various

guards left their booths and ran over to inspect it and us.


I'm told by reliable sources (people who live near the Blaine crossing)

that whenever we use McLean Boy Scout Camp, which is about 10 miles

from that crossing and very popular because it is easy to find, there's

sort of an informal pool among the guards on duty as to who can find

the first knight.


Countess Berengaria de Montfort de Carcassonne, OP



Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 19:40:55 +1000

From: Donyale Harrison <donyale.harrison at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Wooden stuff through Australian customs

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


The other year I had been in England for three weeks, Paris for one, then

was back in London for a few days before flying home for Christmas. It

should all have been smooth, save there was fluffy snow, which led to me

flying into Heathrow late at night after very little sleep, using my

Australian passport.


Customs Woman: What is your purpose in visiting?

Me: Catching a flight to Sydney on the 22nd, visiting friends and museums

until then.

CW: You were in the UK the other week, what were you doing?

Me: Visiting friends and museums.

CW: And you went to Europe, why?

Me: More friends, more museums.

CW: Really? In Europe?

Me: They have lots of great museums, with different stuff to the ones here!

CW: If you say so.



Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 19:41:19 +1000

From: "Tig" <tig at fastmail.com.au>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Wooden stuff through Australian customs

To: "Shambles" <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


As to Australian customs, I can only giggle... When re-entering Oz from

a trip to Canterbury Fair, I duly declared my new bone handled eating

knife, wooden items etc etc.  However, they were only interested in the

mysterious tiny paper bags that appeared to contain illegal drugs.


The little tags attached to them didn't appear to have any identifying

information other than a logo.  To make matters worse, they were

packaged in a ziplock bag.  It worried the poor dears terribly.  


Suffice it to say, I let them ditch my chamomile tea :)


~ Tig



Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2013 15:10:20 +1100

From: Donyale Harrison <donyale.harrison at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Orbs and swords and borders, oh my

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


<<< Have you had problems carrying a "ceremonial sword" across state or national

boundaries? Have you had problems carrying a "ceremonial sword" across state or

national boundaries? >>>


The awkwardness is twofold:

1. it is hard to get the sword of state into the average suitcase, since

you can't take it on board, and once it is in the suitcase, it's a bit

heavy and so you have to leave other stuff out.

2. being in a suitcase, which is not under your control, there is a higher

likelihood of theft than there is for other parts of regalia, which you can

keep under your control.


Stefan, a story for you. During one of our reigns, a Tasmanian woman named

Mary married Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark. It was a glittering affair

with royals minor and major flying in from around the world. Very shortly

after it, I was coming back from a royal visit ? possibly to Stormhold. I

checked my hand luggage through security and the guard on the scanner did

that pause, rewind, pause again thing.


'Is that a crown?' he asked.


'Yep,' I replied.


'A real one?'




'How was the wedding?'


Coincidentally I had been to one the weekend before, so in all honesty I

answered, 'It was just lovely!'


I often wonder what he told his family when he got home.



Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 10:20:25 +1300

From: "Vicki Hyde" <vicki at webcentre.co.nz>

Subject: [Lochac] Orbs and swords and borders, oh my

To: lochac at lochac.sca.org



<<< Have you had problems carrying a "ceremonial sword" across state or

national boundaries? >>>


Australia, increasingly, appears to be making stricter and stricter rules about what one can do with a sword, including not just issues of carrying one across borders, but also simply having one in the back of a car.


Yes, we can go trans-Tasman with them, but as Her Grace says, there can be complications of weight restrictions and security/theft issues. We have typically advised Crowns to use a local stand-in sword if They require a ceremonial sword as any number of our folk have nice examples to hand.


We made the mistake one time on coming back to NZ of declaring Bartholomew's combat "sword" and promptly got yanked out of line and made to wait on the Group W bench with the guys with the AK47s and the machetes. After an hour or so, when we got to the front of the line, the cops took one look at the rattan and waved us away.


My favourite security story was travelling with Southron Gaard's baronial coronets in our carry-on. They passed through the machine and the guy sneered just a tad and said "d'ya think you're King and Queen or something?". We just dead-panned with "No, Baron and Baroness" and his jaw dropped as we stalked off.


Made a change from being asked if we were in "Lord of the Rings"....


And then there was the time coming back from a Coronation when a random check picked up traces of cocaine on our garb! I figured it had to be from the public loos in the rather alternative venue we'd been at -- most likely swept up on my hems. We explained this as the nice chap poked through our garb bag, looking more and more nonplussed. Then he asked what was in our carry-on luggage. "Crowns", we said, at which point he waved us away.


Oh the fun we had,




Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 08:48:46 +1100

From: Zebee Johnstone <zebeej at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Orbs and swords and borders, oh my

To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


On Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 8:20 AM, Vicki Hyde <vicki at webcentre.co.nz> wrote:

<<< We made the mistake one time on coming back to NZ of declaring Bartholomew's combat "sword" and promptly got yanked out of line and made to wait on the Group W bench with the guys with the AK47s and the machetes. After an hour or so, when we got to the front of the line, the cops took one look at the rattan and waved us away. >>>


On the other hand... I was the only one in our group who declared my

swords. (and my food (sherbert fountains) and my drugs (prescription

antibiotics) and my "have been near livestock" boots.)  So I got

hauled out of line[1].  No waiting, straight to the customs guys and I

showed my stuff.  They admired my swords, lusted after my sherbert

fountains, approved of my boot cleaning technique, then sent me

through my very own scanner and I ended up bypassing some 200 people

and was lounging comfortably in the departure area for some time

waiting for my non-declaring friends who were standing in line for the

other scanners.


When travelling to Victoria I've locked the bag they are in and

carried my membership card and copies of pages showing we are an

exempt organisation.  So far no one has asked to see any paperwork.


I note that as a regular traveler with swords, orbs will be much

easier to travel with as they pack in a normal suitcase.  Most

airlines now have a bag limit as well as a weight limit so an extra

bag for a sword costs money.  Fencers who fly a lot are tending

towards one large bag that takes swords and all other gear but unless

the Sword of State gets its very own wheelie bag for Royal use[2] then

they'll find an orb easier.




[1] after being asked if I was sure I didn't have $10,000 in cash so I

could tick the last box and call "bingo"


[2] which isn't that bad an idea for travel within Terra Rossa at

least and if the regalia committee think it is a good idea they should

contact me about donating one.



<the end>

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