I don't mind hugging it up with a man but not usually a total stranger and certainly not a government official at the airport arrival gate in a foreign country.
In a variation on Stockholm syndrome that's what I did in a crowded, stuffy arrivals hall at Denpasar Airport in Bali just before Christmas.
The immigration official had inflicted torment for the preceding two hours — which seemed like 20 — due to a passport problem.
First things first — I'm totally to blame for allowing my passport not to have the required six months before expiry in order to enter Indonesia. I was vaguely aware of the need to replace around the middle of this year but when I was being booked on flights to Bali last October hadn't really thought too much about the rules which vary from country to country.
But when I got a bombshell call from the people taking my wife Estelle and I on a cruise from Bali to Cairns over Christmas, telling me there was a problem, I quickly did the maths — I was short of the required six months by seven days.
The call came 24 hours before I was flying out to what wasn't just any cruise. This was on board the ultra-luxury ship, Silversea's flagship vessel the Silver Muse, which came with a butler, eight restaurants, champagne on tap, in other words, unlimited opulence. And it came around our 25th wedding anniversary. A bad one to miss.
I was told the prospects of getting into Bali were slim as there was a big crackdown on the rules, airlines couldn't carry anyone with a non-conforming passports.
I would have to get a new one — in 24 hours — or miss the ship's departure. The call came at a bad time, as they always do.
I was at that moment dropping a niece from Gisborne off in Hamilton for serious medical treatment.
The farewell was a quick one and as I hit the road with a dying cellphone I got a couple of calls in.
First to Estelle to ask her scope the prospects of an urgent passport and through contacts at Emirates, which was flying us, advise them of the issue.
On the Southern Motorway, snagged in pre-Christmas traffic, Estelle told me to slow down.
There was next to no chance of getting a new passport in the hours remaining, instead she'd contacted the Indonesian Embassy whose helpful, friendly staff member took pity on us and sent a covering letter to give Emirates comfort to carry me, which they did excellently.
So when we arrived at Denpasar the next day I was feeling reasonably confident. But that soon faded as we waited outside the immigration post.
The letter was causing consternation among officials who would come out intermittently to ask us random questions, seemingly to throw us off-beam, which they nearly did. It was Interrogation 101 and no end of pleading, explaining what the letter said, or mentioning the wedding anniversary was working.
After an hour, I was told I was going to be taken to the departures area, required to buy a ticket out of the country and then sent packing.
"Can we talk to your boss?" we pleaded.
"You'll see him in the departures area," was the reply that sounded rather final.
We started making preparations for me to fly to Darwin (where the ship would arrive in five days) on an $89 Jetstar overnight flight and six nights' accommodation for under $500 until Boxing Day when I could hopefully join the ship for another four nights.
The central city motel in steamy Darwin for a solo stay over Christmas looked okay but was about four stars short of the Silver Muse. And I wasn't entirely sure I would even be allowed to fly to Australia or made to fly back to New Zealand.
The questions from the officials dried up, information was not forthcoming we were made to sweat.
But we kept our cool, and stayed busy doing what we could to make alternative arrangements.
We kept smiling and were scrupulously polite. My niece's plight was also top of mind — there are bigger things in life.
Estelle did also make it clear she was staying — which surprised the officials — and a young Emirates agent started working with them on our behalf.
Eventually the head officer emerged, handed Estelle her passport — "YOU have a stamp" and after a theatrical pause, produced mine, saying: "And so do you."
That's when the surprised man was was embraced by an exhausted Kiwi bloke with tears in his eyes.