Don’t Hide Drugs in the Camera

Christian Wach’s Australian Travel Blog, Part 1


A couple of my best friends and I headed for the the Sunshine Coast of Australia in search of waves, women, and purely, the fun times. My buddies Kameron Brown and George Trimm had never been to Australia before. I on the other hand had been there four times but couldn’t wait to share the experience with them.  They had been were looking forward to it for months. Everyday single day prior to our departure, we’d all talk about how excited we were and how amazing the trip was going to be. It was our first international trip together and where could possibly be better for tiptime than Noosa Heads, Australia. I mean, tiptime is, the best time of the day.

We gathered our luggage, our ten foot board bags, one guitar, a mandolin, two laptops, three backbacks, two suitcases, and headed for customs. By that time we were a little out of it after the flight.  Excited to be in the Brisbane Airport, we started snappin’ away pictures unaware of the signs posted everywhere indicating there were to be no photos taken in the customs area. Suddenly,  a woman who worked there yelled at us to stop taking photos. Apparently, Kameron didn’t hear her or something like that, and let it go in one ear and out the other. Out of nowhere, a large man in a uniform demanded Kameron give hand over the camera. Confused,  Kameron  muttered something sadly and followed him to an office across the room. George and I went along with all the bags including Kameron’s luggage made it through customs quite quickly, avoiding the long line due to the enormous  boardbags.

c-wach-aus-pt1-3The customs officer questioned us whether we were carrying any of Kameron’s luggage after he saw us associating with him. We nodded our heads honestly and said yes thinking nothing of it. George and I sat there puzzled for three or four minutes when all of the sudden something clicked in my head.  Kameron had just received the camera as a gift and after looking through the photos on it during the flight, I knew we were in big trouble.  The problem was Kameron had photos of his buddy’s marijuana plants he must have forgotten were even on there.  When the officer uploaded the photos to the computer screen, he didn’t like what he saw one bit. He came out from the office with a piece of paper in his hand. Unfortunately, George and I were guilty by association.

“You’ve got some explaining to do buddy,” he said to Kameron. I know he would have just about pissed his pants at that point. Escorting Kameron by the grip of his bicep, the same officer summoned us to the private office as well. Our dream trip had become what seemed like an elephant on thin ice.

We were searched for ages. The dog sniffed us up and down, our bags were ripped apart, and worst of all, the threat of being searched in places you just don’t wanna be searched was brought up too. Although we were never actually internally searched, the look on our faces was priceless when they suggested it. We thought that was the worst part, but little did we know the major consequences. The authorities also told us we could get charged with a massive fine and no access to Australia for three years. All because of one naive mistake, we were about to be sent home on the next flight. You just never know when traveling what could happen next and we all learned a very important lesson that day. First of all, it was stupid to have those photos in the first place, and second of all, it was even more brainless to bring that on an international flight. Especially whe travelling with friends and putting their trip at risk too. Two nerve-racking hours later, we finally walked through the gates leading to the holyland. We felt so lucky to make it out of that godforsaken office and we really in fact were fortunate to be there. Our good friends Harrison Roach and Ezra Noris waited  patiently for us on the other side. They must have waited an extra two hours or so. They assumed we missed our flight or maybe were on a different flight and received the wrong information. Like the good friends they are, they waited and it all worked out in the end. After explaining what happened they understood and our journey began with a long car ride full of smiles and laughter.