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Foreigner- ()     02/11/2008 22:34 PM
 


Let me share mine in Mumbai, although it was a couple of years ago.
I was born in India but have a foreign passport. When you are leaving the country they have an officer interview you. I am not sure why, but it is quite unusual, kind of like an exit interview I guess. I have not seen that anywhere else.

Anyway the guy asked all sorts of detailed questions, and then finally asked me how much Rupees cash I have with me. I told him I'm not exactly sure, but about 1000Rs(about 20 dollars at that time). He told me the limit was 800Rs for foreigners leaving India and told me it was illegal to take Indian Rupees out of the country and asked me to take out my wallet and count it, when I counted it, it turned out I had 1400 Rs in my wallet. Then he became quite irate and condescending and asked me what I do for a living, I told him I am a doctor, then he went on insulting me, asking whether I would say that a patients temperature was 104 if it was 101! I told him that is not relevant here. He got angrier and told me he will have to confiscate that money. I told him 1400 Rs is not that much money and I could spend it in the departure lounge before I left. He was livid. He asked me to hand over the Indian currency. I was not quite sure what to do, but I sure as hell knew I did not want this scumbag to have that money. So I turned around and gave the balance above 800Rs to another passenger in line next to me and said take it as a gift from a stranger. That pushed him over the edge, he started yelling in Hindi. I told him I do not speak Hindi, that seemed to upset him even more. By this time other passengers were aware of what was going on as well and were objecting as well. He was fuming and walked away from his desk yelling and shouting in Hindi and his supervisor came to take over. He asked what the issue was and I explained it to him. He waved me by and moved on to the next passenger.

Later that passenger, came up to me in the departure lounge and returned the money I gave her. We started chatting, and I asked her to join me in the restaurant as our flight was 3 hrs away so we went to the restaurant and spent it all in the departure lounge on a meal and a couple of drinks and the tip.

They need to improve things and get rid of these morons in those airports. Perhaps they need to pay them realistic salaries and then make them more accountable. They don't realize it and perhaps care even less, but they represent India's image and brand every day in the eyes of visitors and travellers alike.

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