Wednesday 14 September 2011

Romania Part (2)

When we travelled to Romania, H was working for the UN. Very near to the time that we were due to depart on our trip, he found out that it was necessary for him to go on a mission in the middle part of our holiday.  We decided it would be best for us to travel on his UN passport, something that we had done before. When he left he had to travel out of Romania from the local airport of Constanza to Bucharest, where he then flew on to Rome and finally Malta. Some of our fellow travellers became quite anxious for me, as he would not be back until the Friday evening before we were due to leave the following morning. I was completely relaxed about it, and explained that I wasn't worried, he travelled all over the world and always turned up when he said he would. As I mentioned in Part (l) I had already decided to take the boys off to visit Bucharest and Transylvania so that they could see Dracula's castle.
When it came to Friday evening, H did exactly as he said he would, and turned up at our hotel. A big cheer went up from the other guests that he had made it back in time. However, the fun and games commenced when we arrived at the customs desk at Constanza Airport the following morning.  H's passport had all of our names, addresses etc on it, but no photograph of us.  They could not understand why there was a passport stamp for us arriving in the country, then another one out, followed by another one coming in again, but with only a few days apart.  
It all got very tense, we could see men behind a frosted glass screen talking on telephones, they would then appear and say is this the only identification you have?  H thought that it would complicate the issue further if they knew we had British passports too. I looked out of the airport window and could see that the other passengers were on the plane, and that the engines were being revved ready for takeoff. Suddenly a large man appeared wearing jack boots with a knife sticking out of the top, a gun in a holster, and lots of gold scrambled egg around his cap, armbands, and on his shoulders.
It is rare for me to loose my temper, but I just let rip at him. I showed him a section of the passport and said if he did not get us on the plane immediately then there would be a diplomatic incident.  He gestured to someone to drive us to the plane, and then we were thankfully on our way. I certainly did not want to be left behind in Romania breaking up stones by the roadside, like the women we saw as we arrived at the airport.
When we finally got home we wondered whether they may have thought had taken a Romanian women and two children out in the first instance, and then he had come back for me, but we shall never know what was going on in their minds.
click on this photo
You are requested to extend to the bearer the courtesies, facilities, privileges and immunities which pertain to his(or her)office, and to facilitate by all suitable means the journey and mission on which he(or she)is engaged.
Link here for Part (1)


  1. I would have been a quivering wreck! Thanks goodness you've got more gumption!

  2. Wow, what a great story! You're definitely the person I want on my team, in fact I'll nominate you for captain! In the same circumstances, though, I probably would have blasted someone, too. I can see this story playing out in any number of countries.

  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.

  4. Dear Alix - I wonder how I would react today with hindsight. I think it was a case of thinking about our sons, and getting ourselves home safely.

  5. Dear Mark - I think that we were probably a bit naive, and in all honesty just what could they have done to us before the UN would have stepped in to help. However, I didn't intend hanging around to find that out, especially as the plane was almost ready to go.

  6. Hello Fotokarusellen- thank you, and I am pleased that you enjoyed it.


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