Singer Natalia Dzenkiv found herself taken aback recently when she was stopped and grilled at passport control travelling back home from Turkey.
It wasn’t a routine line of questioning, either. Instead, as it turned out, it was a pretty amazing (if slightly back-handed) compliment.
Puzzled officials suspected she was using someone else’s passport – because of her age.
Believe it or not Natalia is 41 years old.
And it was her exceptionally youthful appearance which got her into trouble, pfficials at passport control suspected her to be 20 years younger and using an older woman’s passport.
Which, as frustrating as it would have been at the time, is very flattering nonetheless.
Natalia, who is better known as Lama, said: “When I found out the reason for my arrest, I even started laughing as it was [the] age in my passport.
“I am already used to compliments about the way I look, but I couldn’t have imagined that it might be a reason for detaining me.”
Eventually she was allowed to pass through.
With no way of proving her identity otherwise, it was Natalia’s fans who came to the rescue when, recognising her, several members of the public approached her asking for selfies and autographs.
As for her secret to looking incredibly young for her age, fan Oleg Petrov added:
“She is vegetarian and only eats fruits and vegetables, this is why she looks so good.”