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Airport Adventures: Port Harcourt Airport

by a traveller

A British engineer in line ahead of me was meanwhile taking bottle after bottle of liquor out of a bag for each airline employee.

"I was in Nigeria for a business trip (never again!) When we got to the airport to depart, I tried to check my baggage. I had several cheap touristy wooden carvings. The man behind the counter asked me for my "license to export rare African artifacts" I laughed and told him I was not buying a license for a couple of worthless gifts. He argued for a while and then called for the next person. I then realized he had thrown my suitcase in the corner where I would obviously never see it go on the plane. I asked my colleague what to do. She said, fool, pay the man. I gave her as much naira as I could find and told her to pay the man. I was sick of this country. She did, and I watched four men share my largesse. My bag still did not move. A woman in a red uniform came up to me and said, I need to strip search you, you are CIA, (which I am not!) I started screaming that she better leave me alone. All the Nigerians around were highly amused. My colleague said , dammit pay her. I gave her 40 American money and she went away. I then went back up to the counter and told the man there that I was going to yell rape if my suitcase did not go on the plane. He listened this time after having heard me scream before. When I got to the tarmac, three was a line of airport employees checking hand luggage. When the woman asked me "what I had for her today" I told her to see her fellow employees inside. A British engineer in line ahead of me was meanwhile taking bottle after bottle of liquor out of a bag for each airline employee. He looked and me and said "You bloody Americans don't know how to travel". Once we got on the plane (Air France) we sat there for three hours. Then a Nigerian got on the plane with a basket, and asked for money for a "value added tax'. We sat on the runway until he had enough money. Once we took off, I said Thank you Lord for getting me out of this place and I got close to drunk for the first time on a plane thanks to the British guy. "

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