We’ve talked about packing efficiently before, and following the rules of TSA, but what happens when you’re coming back from a trip and you just can’t leave without that Washing Machine you found a really great deal on? This is a tale about the baggage claim at your friendly international, national and regional airport. They’ve seen some crazy things, believe me. Here are some of the primary suspects of the weirdest and strangest to have ever graced an airport baggage claim. It begs the question: But why would you pack that?
Traditional Chinese Dragon Kite
Well, it looks like someone is quite a kite enthusiast. Whether it was a gift from a friend in China, or just seemed like a really nice gift for your friend Gloria who is a big fan of Chinese culture (whom you may or may not be trying to clearly impress with your kite know-how), this item is one for the books. And by “books,” I mean the TSA record book for best-handled cargo from plane to Airport in a long time. This person probably woke up and thought, “Today I will buy a kite. Because I didn’t want to bring my clothes home anyway.”
50 Vacuum-Packed Frogs
This was hopefully a special order for a high school Biology class, made by a very enthusiastic teacher. It’s either that, or someone clearly wanted a post-airport snack. It’s not every day you would come across a bag full of vacuum-sealed amphibians, but we’re glad they didn’t jump out of the vacuum sealing, singing and dancing for only us…making it extremely difficult to seem like a grounded, reasonable human being. Thank you for not bringing live singing frogs back into the country. These dead ones will do just fine for our storytelling.
300 Live Tortoises
So there was this one time that a bunch of bagged drugs were found in two suitcases full of tortoises. First, how did you find that many illegal turtles? Second, THEY WERE STILL ALIVE? How could you do that to us? This isn’t an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We run an airport, not a martial arts studio. While I appreciate the sentiment, these (extremely rare and expensive) tortoises belong in the zoo. Please excuse me while I question your life choices and call the proper turtle authorities.
A Full Suit of Armor
Here we have the luggage contents of another dedicated RenFest actor on the go. When you find a fully put together suit of armor in baggage claims, you know they’re anticipating one of two things: The Return of the King or a highly involved trip to Comic-Con. The sad thing is that this suit of armor was left without an owner. “I’ll just go and leave my suit of armor at the airport,” said no reputable knight ever. He or she will receive many flesh wounds without this. Many, many flesh wounds.
Tibetan Dung Chen
The real wonder about this item is not why it got past customs, but rather how. That’s ten feet of instrument! Unless you’ve decided to practice Buddhism while out on your worldly travels, and have brought back a fellow Buddhist to teach you his ways and playing skills, this item doesn’t compute. It’s a wonder you were even able to pack ten feet of something and get it onto the plane itself. You might have an in with the Airport. Can we be friends and skip airport security lines together?
The Enigma of Efficient Packing
What have we learned from this? Everyone packs on their own priority list. Efficient traveling begins with efficient packing—this is a truth that we can’t ignore. But, when it comes to traveling for leisure, the things we bring back with us are entirely based on an individual basis. Sometimes we can’t pass up the odds and ends that exist around the world. Sometimes we really want to buy that shrunken head for our cultural collections. Sometimes it pays to be “that guy” who packed the strangest item the Airport has ever seen. But, most of the time it’s down right silly. At least we all know we like, and that we too are prone to be the strange people who deliberately pack a snow globe for the family back home and a 1770′s Violin for our collection. It’s just important to bring all of our freaky-deaky souvenirs back with us, or else they be left with the sassy baggage claim workers at your local airport.