While we were in Germany, my poor brother had the task of taking Jess and I shopping. As we went inside a big supermarket, he stayed outside and apparently took the opportunity to have his car cleaned and polished!
Jess and I had great fun admiring all of the wares, but, as we had hand luggage only, it was a 'look but don't buy' occasion. I did buy a few small bits and bobs, as did Jess, but it was shame we didn't have a suitcase between us.
One thing I did buy, was a jar of special plum preserve. No - it's really not the same as jam. More like a mousse, but nicer! I really wasn't sure what to do. It wasn't a liquid, so would it be ok at airport security? It wasn't a cream, so did I have to declare it? Either way, I was going to try and take it home.
As it happens, security at Berlin is a little different. Suitcases as well as hand luggage are scanned before check-in. As my carry-on went through, the chap asked whose case it was. Ah. This is for check-in he asked. No - carry-on. No, it has to be checked in, there is a liquid in here. Hmmm. Well, there is a jar of plum mousse, but it's not really a liquid, I offered hopefully! No chance. You can go back out, buy some bread and eat it, the guard suggested. Sadly, having eaten it every day, I didn't want to do that! I offered him the jar to keep, but he had to refuse - he did say that his wife would be cross (pointing at his tummy), but really it was obviously policy.
So, what to do with the jar? As it happened, a young girl was just passing security, and she saw the jar. I offered it to her and she laughed. I would love it, she said, but I don't have the space in my suitcase. Then I have to throw it away I said. She looked quite horrified. (It was a good plum mousse - I promise you!) She asked if we were travelling to Dublin - sadly not. She would have taken it for us, and handed it it back after landing. Meanwhile, we had now attracted the attention of more security guards. Thankfully, they could see that the source of great debate was not anything more scandalous than a jar of plum mousse. (But even they made some sarcastic comment!) Bless her, the girl took the jar and crossed her fingers that she wasn't over weight. (She was a little, but a jar of jam wasn't going to make much difference.)
We then passed through the normal airport security with flying colours and waited in the departure lounge for the flight. Whilst waiting, the girl re-appeared and confirmed that she had been able to take the jar after all, and was very thankful for it.
Much later, I had a terrible thought. I had given some stranger a jar of something to take on board a plane. Who was the most stupid? Me, for doing it in full view of the security staff, or her, for taking it? There could have been anything inside that jar. She didn't open it to check. It just goes to show how easily people can be led astray. I know I won't succumb to such an undertaking, if I were on the receiving end at some point in the future.