Thursday, September 29, 2005

Save the artifacts

I was just now reading Chris's accounts of his adventures trying to save bits and pieces of history in Louisiana. I'm always reading travel writing, and this little anecdote reminded me of some travelers' bizarre experiences in little bureaucratic backwaters around the world--the kinds of places euphemistically referred to as "developing nations":
On the way out of the Joint Field Office, at the interior circle of security, a Blackwater guard searched my computer bag. I had the AASLH camcorder and he asked if I had a Property Slip for it. No, it’s mine. He told me he knows this, but I still need a Property Slip. But I’m trying to leave the building, and I’m never coming back, and besides, y’all never told me about this when I entered. Still, I had to get a Property Slip. Damn. He directed me to the help desk where they could get me a Property Slip. The help desk had no idea what I was talking about. {snip}

Back downstairs, a new Blackwater guard stood by the entrance. I grudgingly showed him my slip and he told us I hadn’t needed that at all and his predecessor at that post didn’t know what he was talking about. The two rent-a-cops behind the desk just shrugged.
This made me think, once again, now exactly what would I be giving up by one day moving to South America? The list keeps getting shorter.

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