Welcome to the US, they say when you arrive at the customs!

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun' started by jenleib, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Jim in Cancun

    Jim in Cancun Guest

    +0 / 0
    And I wish I could still go down to the drugstore and get a root beer float!!

    But I am afraid those days are gone and "It is impossible to recall the spendour in the grass or the glory in the flowers."

    There are reasons that things are not as they were before 9-11 and why things are different in different countries and different airports. In general, people are "following orders" and agencies are trying to do the best they can considering their two big disadvantages--1)they are part of a government and 2)they have to hire human beings.

    Leaving the Cancun FBO on Wednesday for a private flight to Florida, going through "security" and "immigration" was a pleasurable experience with no waiting--even when the machine beeped for some reason.

    Arriving at a private FBO in Florida (staffed by one immigration and one customs agent, and no line to take care of the 6 of us)we were made to wait for about 15 minutes for no other reason than that those people always have and always will have the power to do that--anywhere in the world.

    Flying commercial out of FLL on the way back was not unpleasant at all since I am a frequent flyer and do not expect anything to go any certain way or any one person I have to deal with to be either nice, polite or efficient or that other passengers will even have a clue as to what they must do to get ME through all this mess. I was however, pleasingly surprised when the lady at the ticket counter asked the requiered "do you have a return ticket?" question (since I only had a one-way to Mexico ticket)and I answered "no" and she told me straight out "You DO have a return ticket." Then she asked me the same question as before to which I answered, "Yes, Ma'am" and she said "thank you" and sent me on my way.

    Someone traveling with me forgot he had a Swiss army knife and a lighter in his small suitcase--didn't want to check it and thought he would take his chance and plead ignorance if caught. Sure enough, they stopped him at the xray machine, searched his luggage, found some creams he had bought as a gift for his wife and confiscated them and he went on his way with his lighter and Swiss army knife which they never detected or found which hopefully will compensate for what he had to go through when he got home.

    I travel through Europe a lot too as well as other countries. Could just be my imagination but, after the U.S. agents, the Canadian ones in Immigration and the U.S. Customs agents that work in the Canadian airports seem to be the most disagreeable to deal with. When traveling outside of Mexico in Europe, I always travel as a Mexican and use my Mexican passport. Again, it may just seem that way but it seems it is better than traveling as an American.

    It is surely a sign of globalization that we no longer compare rude DMV employee stories and now focus on international immigration and customs agents. How we have evolved!

    And I do look on the new "Trusted Travel" program that I posted the link to and even the see-though computer bags as at least minour attempts by a burocracy to make some improvements. Now that I am approved, just going to a non-human kiosk next to the "Crew" line and inserting my passport, placing my index finger in the slot for fingerprinting and answering 5 Customs questions seems much easier and a step in the right direction to keep me away from Mrs. hip replacement, Mr. Steel plate and most importantly--the Immigration and Customs agents.
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