If you want to become an international contraband smuggler then get on a business delegation and travel on the Prime Minister's airforce jet, Taxi One, well it does cost the taxpayer a bomb to run.
For a nominal fee you can travel the world and walk through customs with barely a gidday and not a sniffing Beagle hound in sight. In fact if the bus picks you up at the bottom of the stairs on the tarmac then you're straight to your hotel no questions asked.
Your bag arrives later, courtesy of the Royal New Zealand Airforce, no stamp in your passport which remains in your pocket and no forms submitted. In fact you're in the country, walking around the streets, taking a dip in the sea and dining out at a restaurant without any of the authorities knowing of your existence.
And at this stage the Prime Minister isn't even travelling with you.
That's what happened yesterday checking into what is arguably the most security conscious nation on earth. Uncle Sam laid out the welcome mat, or we were left to assume he did.
Asking a middle aged American couple if they could watch my cellphone and sunnies while I went for a swim, the man looked a little suspicious, “It's not a bomb is it?” he inquired. Having allayed his concern we struck up a conversation after the swim and I recounted how I was in his country as an alien and relayed the experience.
"You could have had five kilograms of cocaine in your bag," he exclaimed. My point exactly, although the lack of security was refreshing.
Walking around the street in Honolulu it's obvious the gun culture is alive and well. Men parading real, live shooting alley advertising on their sandwich boards. You can have target practice with a Dirty Harry Magnum, a Baretta, a Glock, or take your pick of the Uzi, AK47 or M16 machine guns.
It was so nice for once though not to have been confronted with any of them on our arrival at the airport.
It’s just the way travel used to be, well almost!
Photo: Getty Images