The following falls under the “what in the world were they thinking? ” or not as the case maybe. In one of the suites there was a couple with the arrogance of new money and a sense of entitlement that was really amazing. They also had a son and daughter in the 6-12 year old range. The young girl seemed quiet but the boy is likely a high functioning autistic and just did not cope well on the ship. I developed the feeling that limits were a new experience for both offspring.
Now Australia has extremely strict quarantine regulations. You simply can not bring in food items, plants, shells, or anything that could be carrying foreign small life forms (insects, bacteria, fungus and the like). You have to declare it or face huge fines. They are also willing to irradiate suspect items for a substantial fee.
At our stop in Vanuatu one of the tourist stores was selling various versions (child size) of traditional weapons. The items about which I am speaking included handmade bows and arrows. I had looked at them being curious about the workmanship. Obviously locally made, the most assuredly were not from China. Locally made the woman proudly told me. See the bark still attached?
I recognised the sets this morning slung over the shoulders of the above mentioned children. One bow each and a fist full of arrows carried by each along with the expected backpack. It was at that point I decided to wait before exiting the ship. I didn’t want to be in the customs area when they try to walk out with their toys, especially if their parents don’t have enough sense to declare the items on the customs form. Of course, they have enough money to pay fines, irradiate or whatever. But still, the idea of weapons in the hands of that particularly hostile young man doesn’t leave me with warm fuzzier.
And, as it turns out importing such items is not allowable. Rumor has it (in the form of someone I ran into later at the yarn store) that there just might have been some shrieking involved.