[Plone-conference] Rare exports

Mikko Ohtamaa mikko at opensourcehacker.com
Mon Oct 15 20:14:15 UTC 2012

Hi all,

Thanks for the great conference! I have never had this super fun - and for
myself the conference had the end climax it deserved. I had some of the
most interesting moments of my life today. You were there so it's true
story :)

Namely, we went to a pub yesterday after the sprint. There was a "junk
bingo" where everyone could participate for free and win stuff.
Lucky-Franco won a vinyl and a drinking game. But I got the main prize, a
katana sword after trying really hard to beat Franco in the game. A really
cool sword, which soon ended up being full of Plone related stickers (don't
know how this happened). I was thinking it makes an awesome souvenir for
the conference.

... fast-forward 12 hours to the next and the airport. I was carrying the
sword wrapped in black plastic bags as I really had to do some
improvisation how to carry it - it doesn't fit into any luggage. I have
imported swords before to Finland from Czech so "I know what I am doing".
They'll put a special sticker on the sword "DANGEROUS" and either let it go
in the luggage or given it to the cabin crew.

It was almost success. I went to the special items desk and told I have a
sword to declare in my luggage. I got it approved by KLM (the fee was 55
EUR but I thought it's worth it). However they needed the dangerous sticker
from the airport security. So a military police (or whatever it is its
equivalent) comes here and check my sword. Still everything going well,
besides having an epic hangover.... I got even checked in with tickets and

But then the police gets somehow confused. Because the sword doesn't fit
into the luggage, it is a separate item I was carrying around. The police
makes a radio call and a lot of Dutch discussion ensures with the KLM
representative. A senior KLM representative comes around. More Dutch
discussion ensures. In this point I actually miss the chance to reach my
flight in timely fashion.

Then the police tells me "we need to take your sword and give you a fine".
In which point I feel the things are not going to end that well anymore...
the KLM lady asks me do you know what I am accused of. It was something
along the lines that I was carrying the sword with me when I arrived to the
airport (basically carrying a weapon) which is against the local law. This
of course makes some sense as it is not nice for the airport security to
have hungover Finns carrying ninja tools around. However the police and KLM
had procedures how things are supposed to be done and we were doing it by
the book. They have rules to export dangerous items, but those dangerous
items should not reach the airport in the first place...

So I am taken to fill in a lot of paper forms... and they ask the question
"How did you end up to the possession of this item?"

...in which point I quickly think in my head: I am already in some shit. It
probably doesn't make things better if I tell the truth that on Sunday
night, after programming 12 hours on in a music hall, me and my Australian,
US, Brit, Argentina and bunch of other friends from bunch of other
countries went to a bar where we drank beer called "Hell and Damnation",
patched something called Templer and played junk bingo.

... so I told the police "I won it in a competition".

It was awesome conference.

In the end they didn't give me fine. It was little embarrassing for the
polices too as they apparently wouldn't have wanted to go through the mess
more than I did, so in some point of the filling paper work they stop doing
it, just tell me "please forget this little incident and move along." Then
I got personally escorted by a nice KLM lady to get my flights rebooked
(which I actually had to pay). Now I am thinking how could I explain this
to my travel insurance company to get the money back...

See you in Ploneconf 2013!

Ps. Rare Exports movie, from Finland:

Mikko Ohtamaa
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