Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Keeping the Illegals Out

I shall not go into the typical "We had a great time in Israel, we didn't get enough done in the short time we were there, and we can't wait to go back again" routine, other than to perfunctorily but unequivocally state that we had a great time in Israel, we didn't get enough done in the short time we were there, and we can't wait to go back again.

The afternoon before we departed, I received a telephone call from the airport limousine services purveyor with whom we had arranged our transportation.  Seems that another couple, about three-quarters of a mile away from us, wanted to catch the same flight to and the same return flight from.  Would we mind sharing the ride with them (and saving $10 in the process)?

I told the limo guy that as long as there was sufficient room in the vehicle, then I didn't have a problem with it.  He assured me that the van he would send would have ample room for four adults plus lots of luggage.  It did.

This particular couple is not quite 30 years our junior, married 2 years, no children yet (but they indicated that the situation was subject to change within the foreseeable future).  We have a number of mutual acquaintances.  To be sure, they were pleasant traveling companions, but they are where we were 25 years ago and still have quite a ways to go in order to bring their marriage up to the level of functionality my wife and I have achieved.  There obviously are no guarantees on such matters, but, having done it, I would give them a reasonable chance of hitting their quarter-century mark.

In any event, they were seated in a different section of the plane, so after the luggage was retrieved in Israel we each went our separate ways, and did not have occasion to contact or rendezvous with one another until we found ourselves waiting at the gate to board the return flight.

After landing at Newark Liberty, we of course had to clear the Customs & Border Protection people.  And that is where the other couple experienced a slight complication.

This year, the pomegranate crop in Israel yielded lots of specimens which are larger and sweeter than usual.  It was quite fortuitous that the holiday of Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for the Trees, occurred during our visit to Israel.  It is, of course, a custom to eat fruits on that day, especially the fruits for which the Land of Israel is historically known:  Olives, dates, figs, grapes, and pomegranates (The Jaffa oranges and the Sabra cactus pears would come onto the scene much later; immigrants, as it were, who succeeded and made good for themselves and their new country).  We, of course, feasted on those fruits and others.

Our limo companions were no less impressed with the pomegranates than we were.  They packed a dozen into one of their suitcases.  And when they were asked by the CBP people if they were bringing any fruits into the country, they truthfully answered in the affirmative.  They were sent to the CBP's agriculture specialist, who confiscated the pomegranates.

I am pleased to no end that the CBP people are protecting America from diseased fruits and plants.  Now, how about keeping out the illegal aliens who commit acts of fraud and violence upon the American people!

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