This is another one of “my stories” and the one from my time living in Saudi Arabia that makes Mr B chuckle.
I spent six years living in Saudi Arabia in the early 90s, living on a compound with other western ex-pats who all worked for the same “Principal”. For principal, read member of the Royal Family. That was our way of referring to Him within the office.
One day the American couple living next door to us came home and asked us to help them inflate some globes they had bought. They ran a classroom for the Principal’s children to be tutored at home after their Saudi schooling. As He had been to Sandhurst he wanted his children to learn English and be exposed to a bit more of western culture than was available in Saudi schools.
They hadn’t been able to source the globes locally so the Americans had ordered them from a mail order company in the US and they had duly arrived at the Palace having cleared customs. Everything coming into Saudi is opened and inspected, including luggage at the airport. Always on the look out for alcohol and pork products or pictures of women which are all banned (I bought a cookery book once and the whole “pork” section had been cut out).
So we set about inflating the globes ready to be taken into the Palace Classroom the following morning
“Mine won’t inflate”
“No, nor will mine”
“How come they don’t stay blown up?”
We then started to examine the globes to try and find out if they had been punctured by a knife when the box was ripped open by customs.
Not quite. As one of us started to inflate one we decided to put our hands around it to see if we could feel any escaping air.
It was at that point that we realised customs had painstakingly cut out the whole of Isreal.
On an inflatable globe.