Bogota airport security restriction: no hand grenades (or any other grenades)

Bogota airport security

With airport security on the rise around the world, it isn’t surprising to see long, fairly exhaustive lists of what you can’t take on the plane. Who among us doesn’t know someone who’s lost a lighter or bottle of shampoo at the security line because of these restrictions? It just seems endless.

Well, it gets crazier than what you’re seeing here in the United States. A reader just sent me this photo today, taken at the Bogota, Colombia airport’s security checkpoint. Apparently, it’s important to itemize the types of weapon you are not permitted to bring on board.

Is this level of detail really necessary? I mean, who the hell would think axes, tear gas or a “Ninja Star” is acceptable for in-flight entertainment. Seriously, an effing sword?! This is nuts.

So, if you’re passing through Bogota, make sure you do not have a “Hand grenade or any grenade,” likely referring to the sort you’d affix to an RPG for an M203 grenade launcher. Those things can be expensive, and it would suck to have to surrender it at security.

[Thanks, PK]

Afghanistan wants you, but you might want to wait

A Tourist Information Center was just erected in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan valley. Customer service lessons are in progress – already making the region friendlier than most airlines – but it may take some time before Afghanistan is ready for regular visits. After all, seven U.S. soldiers lost their lives in the war there yesterday. If you think Afghanistan is ready for western tourists, you are out of your mind. Even if the fighting doesn’t stop you, look out for landmines and hand grenade fishing.

In the Bamiyan region, which is not where the recent fighting involving U.S. soldiers took place, the locals are eager to transform their province into a destination for tourists interested in history. At present, 20 people are receiving customer service training to convey the marks of the past on this region to any guests who may be interested.

And, it might actually be working.

This year, more than 400 foreigners did visit the region (likely not including those in uniform), with airport and hotel reservations up more than 100 percent from 180 for the same period in 2008. If these sites are cleared of landmines by October, as expected, the draw could be even greater. Fortunately, there will be a pizza place ready to serve when the rush comes.

Lost Hand Grenade Found in Potatoes

Just when you think it’s safe to buy fresh groceries, what with the recent spinach scare, and Adkins craze, and all…

A 74-year-old Italian woman brought home a sack of potatoes from the market recently, and was surprised to find a not-so-tasty surprise lurking there: a WWII-era hand grenade. The woman found the grenade while she was washing her purchase, alerted authorities, the bomb squad was able to detonate the grenade harmlessly, and no one was injured.

While one might think this would give a black eye to the fine cuisine of Italy, apparently, the potatoes came from a field in France. And the grenade was of the type used by U.S. soldiers during the war (which, interestingly, often resembled pineapples), making it truly an international culinary incident.