After several weeks of medicine and other goings-on in the pacific including encounters with sea snakes, volcanoes, coral reefs and mildly narcotic root products it’s time to set the tiller for home.
Considering I’ll be going home via Sydney, the Dr’s on the ward have asked me to do them a favour.
Due to the limited blood tests that can be performed at Vila Hospital, anything more complex than basic U&Es or full blood counts have to go overseas, which is where I come in.
I’ve never been an international courier before, so my first time was with a box that I did not pack myself and is explicitly marked with a big BIO-HAZARD logo on the side. I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of my good natured agreement to take the bloods to Australia.
Leaving Vila international airport was no problem, things changed in Sydney, it went a little like this.
Customs: anything to declare sir?
Me: yes, some human blood in this box (proudly holding my additional luggage)
Customs: excuse me? What?
Me: human blood in small bottles, not sure how many, I didn’t pack it myself!
Customs: pardon? Animal blood you say?
Me: No, human blood, not sure how much though.
Customs: I think I need to get my boss (looking a little pale).
Customs boss: So, animal blood in small bottles?
Me: (starting to enjoy myself) No, Human blood, but don’t know whose though!
Customs boss: Your blood sir?
Me: No, not mine, don’t have a clue who I belongs too.
Customs boss: How much blood sir?
Three customs officials later, and a bit of explanation, I’m finally let through with my little parcel, which I duly pop in the post to a professor of haematology in Brisbane.
So, if you want to brighten up your next foreign excursion, take a box of biohazard with you, it makes customs a far more interesting experience.