The Customs officers in The Bahamas were deeply suspicious of my motives for visiting their country on two separate occasions within one week. My itinerary was taking me from Grand Cayman to Montego Bay and then on to Nassau, before heading over to the Turks and Caicos Islands. I was returning from Providenciales to Nassau and then flying to Great Exuma from where I was returning to Vancouver via Toronto.
I was travelling on my own throughout the whole trip. When I arrived in Nassau the first time, there was an absolutely massive queue of people as three international flights had arrived almost at the same time and there were only three customs officers to look after all these people. After 55 minutes it was my turn. The customs officer asked me where I had come from and how long I was spending in Nassau. After I answered he asked me what my line of work was and who I worked for. When I replied that I worked for a credit union, he asked whether we were affiliated with any credit unions in The Bahamas and whether I was going to be contacting them. I wasn’t of course because I was on holiday. He reluctantly stamped my passport and let me through.
When I returned from Providenciales I was asked the same questions by a different customs official and then I was asked where my final destination was. I replied that I was staying in Great Exuma and then the officer asked who I was meeting at my hotel. I indicated nobody and the officer asked me to come with her while they conducted some secondary checks on me. This took about 15 minutes and the customs people had my passport and itinerary behind a secure door all this time, whilst I sat outside. During this time, the officer who stamped my passport on my first visit came out to me and he remembered I worked for a credit union and he assured me there was ‘no problem’. Luckily, I had a four hour wait for my next flight so there was no hurry.
Eventually, my passport was returned to me and I was sent on my way, but I was so pleased that I was heading out of The Bahamas from Great Exuma as I didn’t feel like visiting Nassau again for some reason.