The lunacy of bureaucrats (or my most memorable Hong Kong experience)

October.29. 2016

While transiting in Hong Kong recently, I lost this fearsome looking object to the security guys at the transfer stations.

Fearsome hijacking implement

This was not the first time they had tried to ‘confiscate’ my personal property. (Is there a black market in HK for airport security confiscated property?)

But this time I refused to let them have my prized Muji nail file, which besides being extremely handy in trimming my guitar fingernails is apparently also a dreaded hijacking implement (in Hong Kong anyway).

Here’s how it works.

They take your ‘dangerous’ device at the security check. If you object, they issue you a receipt which you have to produce to retrieve the property.

Now here’s the master stroke, to recover your item, you’ll have go out HK immigration and look for some small Lost and Found office hidden away in some obscure upper level corner. And you have to do this within two weeks.

If, after all this, you somehow manage to recover your precious property, you’ll have to bring it through security again which means they’ll take it away from you again. (If not a black market, maybe a special section on


Fortunately, I had two helpers from my airline (unnamed for now but their initials are CP). Unfortunately, they were quite rude and spent more time admonishing me for my stupidity (??? So why is HKG the only airport in the world banning nail files, why not toothpicks too? Is there a documented case of an airliner being brought down by a nail file? Who gets to keep these confiscated objects?)  in trying to bring these dreaded objects through security than in being helpful.

Moral of story:

Avoid Hong Kong like the plague.


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