Given the farce in Melbourne yesterday, my mind was drawn to a previous incident involving Australian Customs. After all, they combined with Immigration to form the ABF. Reality TV in both the UK and NZ have displayed possibly their nicer interactions with members of the public.
In my case, I was on my was to Austria and Slovenia to conduct some ethnographic research for my Master’s of Design (Hons) at COFA, the College of Fine Arts. I had been given a departure (?) form to fill out and I was engaged in this. Suddenly, I was startled by the thrust of a dog’s snout between my buttocks. I distinctly felt the intrusion as forced by the dog’s handler. I jumped, startled, and turned around, only to have the Customs official thrust his face inches from mine, and snarl angrily “Do you have a problem with that”?
The incident was clearly an abuse of power by this individual; I, however, was at a disadvantage, because I needed to board my flight and concentrate on a fortnight’s touring of the world’s grandest museums. By the time I had returned to Australia I was again immersed in my study.