Feb 072010

I was wondering if I post this to the blog. But I want to tell that anyway, so I just put it here. Yesterday I arrived in San Francisco with some unpleasant experiences…

this trip started being odd as soon as it came to its end. My headphones are broken. Literally broken. I hope we have the bill somewhere. The tiny metal thing which you put into the device fell off. I thought that’s a really bad thing…

… until I got questioned at immigration. After questioning I got two marks on my customs card: I / BAC. Which means, I weren’t allowed to just pick up my luggage and leave but by getting to another immigration office. There I met a really pissed-off Neil, a desparate Caroline and Foram – three colleagues – telling me that they were waiting there already for 5h and that another one wasn’t even allowed to go on the plane in London. I got questioned why I am in US again so soon and why I need so many trainings (WTF) but luckily I could leave after 20 minutes, just minutes after the others left. I wanted to give them a ring to wait for me but than I got dragged out to baggage control. Which was completely strange. I spend there 2.5 h not knowing what the matter is. They unpacked my luggage 3 times, I got questioned by five or six guys in total and they just disappeared and appeared again. I got bored and wanted to play on the phone, I got reminded that these devices weren’t allowed. I got asked why I was in China, Hong Kong, India and in Ukraine, and how tall I was, what I do for living, when my family was born, how much I weight, how my relationship to one of my work mates is, what’s Jaspersoft is doing, why am I travelling etc. And they kept walking off with my passport and coming back asking for more questions. One guy just made me feeling really pissed. He was asking “how tall are you?” – “162″ – “centi meters?” – “…” I threw in every possible way an exception in that moment. I also needed to go to the loo, and was accompanied by two customs officers, one was waiting in front of the woman’s bathroom the other one came even into it. I was tempted to write my us-born manager a text “your country sucks” and I am quite sure I will share this thought with him soon. I don’t want to travel ever again to US!

It was also interesting to recognize how CCTV works: when I was playing on my phone a phone on the desk rang a minute later and one of the customs officers let me know to turn off my phone… wtf. I think eventually I was allowed to leave at the end was because it was the end of their shift. I was there for almost 3 h and watched a lot of people just getting there luggage checked *once* and then they were allowed to leave.

At least the guys were friendly, so I got some water and one offered me a chair… although too late because I was already sitting on the luggage belt and considering if it was ok just to lay down. I asked them for coffee, a bed and a shower instead ;) One of the officer was kinda funny, he said my accent were killing him, it didn’t sound neither irish nor german to him. My offer to let me go to avoid it he declined. He also recommended to get another mail address, stupid me, I gave my standard one. I ensured him it is not a political statement but a nerdy thing. I lost him when I started about Star Trek and MMORPG. Anyways, they kept asking and asking until I offered them giving me pen and paper and some questions to answer while they were
away to make it more efficient. I won’t do this again, as he got serious and told me that all other options were worse… urhg.

Eventually I arrived in the hotel which isn’t nice either. After a short night I am looking forward now to fun day with the girls. Let this day be exceptional good…

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  3 Responses to “land of opportunity … to get pissed off”

  1. [...] all the hassle yesterday today was just perfect. I had a Sunday out with some nice girls from work going to Napa valley for [...]

  2. Thanks for reminding me why I hate to travel to the US: I always smile when I see some of the signs they have, pledging to be friendly and hospitable…

  3. Hey! Soo sorry to hear that! and i apologize for our country! There are lots of idiots working in they think oh soo important positions… i am sorry again! We will try to make your stay FUN! ;-)

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