Intro and Part One.
A second dilemma arose during a flight between Cuba and the United States that included a stopover in Mexico for a few hours, and this time it had nothing to do with the Dewar stuffed in his duffel bag. We were told that airports in Mexico have a stoplight system for customs inspections where individuals walk up and push a button - if a green light shows up they can continue on to the next area, but if the light is red they have to stop. Glor received a green light, but joked about how he must have looked a little too relieved, as he was pulled aside as soon as he cleared the light.
The duffel bag with his Dewar freezer was described as 'personal effects' and wasn't searched, but when they checked his second bag they found 40 anoles that Glor was bringing back to the United States to study. He had all the appropriate customs paperwork filled out for the US government but was told that he couldn't keep the lizards with him while he waited for his final connection. Instead, they would be stored in a nearby warehouse until his connecting flight began boarding procedures. Glor wasn't thrilled with the arrangement, but realized that he didn't have much say in the matter. While waiting for his flight he also called the United States customs office to let them know about his arrival and quickly ran into a second problem related to his herps.
Certain biological specimens require a 48 hour advanced notice before they can be brought into the country, and, as he hadn't been able to set aside time to find a phone for international calls before leaving Cuba, Glor had been unable to notify customs of his special cargo. He tried explaining this over the phone, but was stuck with an uncooperative customs official. He was informed that everyone was already busy looking into a tiger that had been brought through the airport ("And who the hell brings a tiger through customs?") and that he would have to kill his anoles, as there was no way that official was going to allow them past customs and into the United States. Even claims that he had the government's permission fell on deaf ears.
With no other choice, Glor went back to find the airport official who had taken the anoles into storage to explain the situation as well as he could with his broken Spanish -- You know, I hate to tell you this, but I have to kill all of those lizards now. The conversation went back and forth for a moment, and once the official understood what had happened he was eager to offer his help in killing the anoles. A little strange perhaps, but it probably gave the customs agent as good a story about the 'crazy American' that Glor has about his experience in Mexico.
Intro and Part One.