My trip to Rome last weekend started off with a story about a jar of vegemite. In case you don’t know what vegemite is, I will try and explain. It is thick dark yeasty stuff, a by-product of beer, which is used as a spread and is high in B vitamins. A member of the mite family, it is very similar to Marmite and Promite, and you either love it or hate it. Most New Zealanders will have a preference for either Marmite or Vegemite, and my friend in Rome preferred the latter, which she requested I bring specially over from London (you can’t, of course, buy such horrific foods in Italy).
I bought a 220g jar of Vegemite, packed it neatly into my Ryanair-cabin-regulation-size wheely suitcase, and forgot all about it. Even when my bag was pulled aside at Gatwick airport, I couldn’t imagine what they might have found. A huge man started unpacking my suitcase in front of me. Thank goodness I had packed my underwear neatly. He quickly found what he was looking for and pulled out the jar of Vegemite. “I’m sorry, but you can’t take this on board with you, it’s over 100mls.”
Oh, for goodness sake. My jar of vegemite was duly confiscated at Gatwick airport. We suggested to the man that he might want to take it home and try it, but he did not seem particularly keen. Next time you are travelling, remember, Vegemite is a dangerous substance to fly with and must be packed into your check-in bags.
So it was that I arrived in Rome Vegemite-less.