Adventures of a father and a photographer. Tales about the mystery and excitement of family travel.

tiistai 10. lokakuuta 2017

Heavy Weaponry For Peeling Oranges

Years ago I went to Egypt with my wife. It was one our first trips together. We thought Egypt would be a very exotic place for a young couple like us. And it was too. But, I almost ruined the trip on the first steps.

A friend of mine had recommended a Leatherman tool for me. The tool was pretty new thing in Finland back then. He told me that he always carried one with him. It was very, very handy in many ways. For example, he said, it was a perfect travel companion, because you could peel oranges with it when you're sitting under a palm tree in a beautiful tropical resort.

Well, I don't need much encouragement when it comes to buying new gadgets for myself. Although the tool was expensive, I bought one and kept it in my car in case I ever drove to a place where I could for example peel oranges with it.

Ok, I was at the airport with my wife, ready to fly to Egypt. All of a sudden I got a stroke of genius. There must be heaps of oranges in Egypt! After all, it is a very warm country. I told my wife I have an excellent tool in the car, which is going to be very handy on the trip. I grabbed the Leatherman tool into my pocket and off we went to the security control.

Airport security controls have been quite stressful situations to me since I traveled with my Vivitar lens in the US. This time I took a shorter lens with me to avoid any extra excitement at the airport. The security officer, a very polite Finn, told me to empty my pockets. I put the contents of my pockets through the x-ray machine and it happened again! The officer asked me: What is that? I explained her, that the object is a multi-function tool and I'm taking it with me to peel some oranges.

The officer told me very politely but sturdy that I was not allowed to take such devices on board the plane. I could either leave it at the airport or put it in a special box going to the cargo bin. I couldn't leave the tool. They would've trashed it and I wouldn't have anything to peel oranges with. So I packed the tool in a little brown cardboard box and the officer sent it to the cargo bin.

My wife wasn't too happy when we finally got to the plane. However, she got happier when we got closer to the destination, the warm and exotic Egypt. We landed on the small Luxor airport and went to get our bags from the cargo bin. We got the bags and I got my little brown box, too. Everybody was happy.

The happiness was soon over when an army officer stopped me. He had all the things that made me shake in my pants: the beret, the mustache, the angry look and two men behind him holding assault rifles. I had seen enough American films in the eighties to know that he was at least a colonel and I was in deep trouble. I know Tom Cruise would have handled the situation a bit differently, but I was scared to death.

The colonel didn't speak much English but he seemed to be very interested in the little box I was holding. I offered to open the box for him very eagerly, but when I started to open the lid, the colonel shouted: No! and the men behind him raised their weapons. With a shaky voice I told him there was only a Leatherman tool inside the box. The colonel had never heard of such a tool and the look on his face was not very encouraging.  I repeated: A Leatherman tool, a Swiss army knife, for peeling oranges.

The colonel seemed to think very carefully about my words. After a few, very long minutes he said: Ok, you can go. He probably thought I couldn't do much harm if I only had an orange peeling device in the box.

And by the way, the Leatherman tool was never used for peeling oranges. I put it on the bottom of my bag for the rest of the trip and never took it out. And I've never taken it with me abroad since. Not even if there would be oranges to peel in the destination.

Vivitar 70-210mm f4.5-5.6

I mentioned I had a shorter lens with me on this trip. The lens was very handy, despite of it's focal length, it is very compact and lightweight. Just perfect to shoot the temples and tombs of the Kings' Valley.

What makes the lens interesting is the push-pull zoom. I personally like it. It's easy and fast to use. I wonder why they don't make lenses with push-pull zooms anymore.

You can read more about the lens here.


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