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Boy, this could turn out to be one expensive rose.
A woman who is a noted traveler and posts often on Instagram about her adventures is at the center of an unexpected adventure.
The woman, who uses the name @skywardsfreak on Instagram, was flying from Doha, Qatar to Perth, Australia. She was given a rose at the airport lounge in Qatar.
Yes, a rose. As in the flower.
She was also dressed as Barbie, not that that means anything. But there was one problem: She failed to declare the rose to Australian authorities. And you know how prickly, pardon the pun, some authorities can be about bringing in fruit, vegetables or plants from another country. The woman was escorted by officials to an immigration security office.
Subsequently, she was fined what amounted to $1,200 in U.S. currency. It is a fine that must be paid before she leaves the country.
Some seem to think she was targeted because the rose was in her luggage to freeze as a memento later on. Moreover, there doesn’t seem to be any negative posts about Qatar or Australia, or has she written anything negative in the past.
She cooperated fully with the immigration officials. She was detained, although the reason is unclear and the officials told her she was not detained because of the way she was dressed. Only later was she told she had not fully completed the immigration card and did not declare the flower.
She also had mistakenly clicked "no" when the form asked if she was bringing in any plants to Australia. There was nothing else of suspicion found in her bags.
The issue was not the rose itself, since she was allowed to keep it. The issue appears to be the problem with the form and the declaration.
The woman officially appealed the fine.
The old adage is true that a rose is a rose is a rose. Except when it costs you $1,200.
Rich Thomaselli is a 33-year writing veteran of newspapers, magazines, digital publications and more. He is an 11-time writing...
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