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Origami is not Allowed in Bermuda!

Origami is not Allowed in Bermuda! post image

A few years back, an events company invited me to give an origami demonstration in Bermuda at a trade show. Traveling to this island for a purpose other than tourism meant that the company that invited me had to request a special work permit from the authorities in Bermuda.

Just before my trip, I was told that everything regarding this temporary permit was in order.
When I landed at the Bermuda International Airport, the customs officer receiving me was appropriately stern and solemn, exuding all the authority expected of any immigration or customs official.

“Good afternoon. How long are you staying in Bermuda?” he asked in a bureaucratic tone.
“Two days” I replied.
“For business or pleasure?”
“For business.”
“What will you be doing?
“I will be giving an origami demonstration”
“Ori … what?”
“Origami: The art of folding paper.” I clarified for him.
“Who are you working for?”
“I will be working for the new events promotion company.”
“One moment, please. I need to check the list.”

The customs official disappeared behind an office door. Forty-three seconds later he returned, with the same authoritative air of superiority, and no friendly expression.

“I’m sorry,” he said “but origami is not allowed in Bermuda!”

The blood drained from my face, and I froze, stunned.
“Origami is not allowed in Bermuda…?” I repeated.

“That’s right, Origami is not allowed in Bermuda.” He confirmed.
I was silent, looking directly at his eyes.

“Ha! Got  you, didn’t  I?” said the man with a mischievous and warm islander’s smile.

I breathed a sigh of relief, and smiled back at his devilish prank. He then stamped my passport with an officious thump, and pointed me to the exit.

“Welcome to Bermuda!” he said.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Luisa July 29, 2020, 9:04 am

    Muchas muchas gracias
    Precioso todo.

    Dios los bendiga con mucha felicidad e inspiración.

    Gracias

    • Leyla Torres July 29, 2020, 9:49 am

      Bendiciones para ti también, Luisa. Bienvenida a Origami Spirit!

  • Clara Inés Quintero July 26, 2020, 6:21 pm

    Excelente historia en Bermuda!! al principio de mucha intriga y sorpresa…..esas expresiones como la del oficial lo desconciertan a uno como persona en transito….somos colombianos y nunca estamos tranquilos en el paso por aeropuertos…este proceso siempre nos inquieta mucho a todos cuando viajamos….gracias por compartir Leyla!!

  • YERIBEL July 24, 2020, 2:47 pm

    GUUAAOO… TREMENDA EXPERIENCIA….LO QUE ESTA PASANDO….QUE BUENO QUE NOSOTROS SI PODEMOS DISFRUTAR DE DOBLAR DONDE Y CUANDO QUERAMOS….EN OCASIONES ME QUEJO DE MI VENEZUELA….Y MIRA LO QUE PASA ALLA….
    UN ABRAZO LEYLA
    GRACIAS POR COMPARTIR

  • Ivy Lubiano July 24, 2020, 12:53 am

    hahaha…so funny… for a moment, i was confused… but then, okay… hope you had a great time there…=)

    • Leyla Torres July 24, 2020, 10:44 am

      When it happened, for a moment I was really confused and feeling panic!… What in the world does he think origami is? It’s very funny when I look back. But I didn’t find it too funny at the time!

  • Adesh kumar Singh July 23, 2020, 1:32 am

    What a lovely story.

  • Elsa Lucia Cabrera July 22, 2020, 9:02 pm

    OMG!! I could imagine your face when he said it to you, but I will be running after all, I would not want to see him again. What a joke!

  • Sandra Laurentino July 22, 2020, 4:41 pm

    What a funny story! I thought it was some crazy bureaucratic story or the officer misunderstood the word origami. I was not expecting a prank :)

  • Elizabeth Kimberly July 22, 2020, 11:47 am

    What a fun story! My anxiety level would have definitely gone up the moment he said origami was not allowed in Bermuda! What a relief it would have been to find out he was joking. Great to find people in the world with good senses of humor. 🙂

  • Shan Ellis July 21, 2020, 10:30 pm

    How lovely to hear this story. We are the same I think in our anxiety about customs officials – even when we know perfectly well we are abiding by all the regulations! So nice to hear that they have a fun side. Maybe you should have pulled out a piece of paper and folded him a heart!

    • Leyla Torres July 21, 2020, 10:37 pm

      You are right, giving him an origami heart would have been wonderful. At that time, I just wanted to get out of the airport in case the officer decided to turn stern again!

  • Rita July 21, 2020, 10:02 pm

    Coming from an immigration officer, that was really unexpected! Bless his humor!

  • Mary Ellen July 21, 2020, 8:27 pm

    Love this story Leyla! So good to find a sense of humor in a customs officer!

  • HAYDÉE GÓMEZ MANSILLA July 21, 2020, 7:36 pm

    ¡QUE SUSTO!, REALMENTE ME ASUSTE Y ME PREGUNTE ¿ESTE HOMBRE SABE LO QUE ES EL ORIGAMI?, UNA BROMA MUY PESADA ESTANDO EN EL LUGAR EN QUE TU ESTABAS

    • Leyla Torres July 21, 2020, 9:48 pm

      Eso fue lo que yo pensé… “¿Qué le está pasando a este hombre… no sabe qué es origami?”

  • Alan Parry July 21, 2020, 7:11 pm

    Ha! That had me creased up! Such a pleasure to find an official with a good sense of humour, and what a wonderful location to demonstrate in.

    • Leyla Torres July 21, 2020, 9:50 pm

      I laugh now… when it happened, I was so puzzled, it took me a few seconds to get that he was kidding!

  • Rosemary Browne July 21, 2020, 6:20 pm

    You had me going! When was this, Leyla? How wonderful for you to have been able to travel to this beautiful island. Do tell more …
    Rosemary
    xox

    • Leyla Torres July 21, 2020, 9:53 pm

      It was in 2009. I was the last in line crossing the immigration desk. That officer was so serious, it took me a few seconds to realize he had been joking!

  • Luis Luna Useche July 21, 2020, 6:09 pm

    Reading the information I thought that someone was “Lost in Translation”. Fortunately it is a story of a capcious situation on the immigration desk.

  • Stine July 21, 2020, 5:09 pm

    Just lovely! :D

  • Richard Dominguez July 21, 2020, 4:48 pm

    LOL, what a great story to be able to tell, it’s nice to know that a sense of humor (especially when it’s not expected) is something we all share

    • Leyla Torres July 21, 2020, 9:56 pm

      It was just a little bit beyond my expectation. Looking back, I laugh. At the moment, it was very disconcerting!

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