The Lady Doth Declare Too Much

, , , | Related | January 24, 2019

(Back in the 80s, my mum’s cousin moves from the UK to America for a while. My mum goes to visit her and brings along a few home comforts because her cousin is feeling homesick and needs cheering up. My mum steps up to the counter for declaring customs with her bag, and takes out a few items.)

Customs Officer: “What is this?” *points at a bottle*

Mum: “Oh, that’s ‘Ribena,’ a type of concentrated blackcurrant juice.”

Customs Officer: “Ma’am, we have juice in the United States.”

Mum: “I know, but it’s a specific type you can’t get here, and my cousin has really been missing the taste of it.”

Customs Officer: *points at the next item* “What is this?”

Mum: “A cardigan. I guess you’d call it a jumper or sweater?”

Customs Officer: “Ma’am, we have these in the United States.”

Mum: “Yes, but it’s from a shop in the UK, and I thought it would make a nice gift because it’s lovely and soft.”

Customs Officer: *opens up a package to see a loaf of homemade bread* “What’s this, then?”

Mum: “That’s soda bread; my mother made it with our family recipe. It looks a little strange inside, but I promise it’s not a hash cake or anything! You’re welcome to try a piece. It tastes better with butter; I’m sorry I don’t have any.”

(She breaks off a chunk to reveal a bright green crumb and offers it to him, and he looks at it with a mixture of disgust and wariness.)

Customs Officer: “Ma’am, we don’t have anything like that in the United States.”

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