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Thread: America ...... land of the paranoid

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    Ausphotography Veteran bobt's Avatar
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    America ...... land of the paranoid

    I just returned from the US, and before they'd let me in had to answer the usual range of screening questions. Some of them are getting a tad silly .... such as :-

    1) are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities? (Yeah, right ..... I can imagine all the crooks fessing up to this one on the spot!)

    2) have you ever been involved in espionage or sabotage or in terrorist activities or genocide? (So they expect all terrorists to put their hands up and say "It's a fair cop - you caught me! I was planning on genocide, but ... well ...... you got me on that one)

    3) in between 1933 and 1945 were you involved in any way in persecution associated with Nazi Germany or its allies? (Say what ???? Talk about holding a grudge!!!)

    Once I've answered all of these, then I have to sign a statement waiving my rights to review or appeal if they decide they don't like me!!! Nothing like a fair process - not!

    Even before we got within a bull's roar of the US coast, Qantas announces that America doesn't like us congregating, so no-one was to gather in groups of more than 2 near the toilets in case it upsets any Americans who might be watching. F%$# off .... it's an Australian plane - wait until we land at least before you start dictating what we can do!!!

    ...... and they wonder why people don't like them. Sheesh. I had to go through the scanners 3 times because I had tissues in my pocket ..... probably thought I was engaging in germ warfare.

    Passing through customs in the US is just not worth the hassle .... I'd rather go someplace else.


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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Ewe can say that again! Once in, though, it's quite OK. - Though that's only on the basis of Alaska.
    Yeah, you stand in front of 'em and they talk about you in the 3rd person - hey, Mongo! - and when not,
    talk AT you instead of TO you. Yeah, immigration/border security/whatever they're called

    Don't worry, Bob! We'll be as stupid as that here soon enough, I reckon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Don't worry, Bob! We'll be as stupid as that here soon enough, I reckon.
    If Trump gets in we'll all be stuffed. Interestingly, i came across the first person I've spoken to who not only likes Trump but also liked Tony Abbott! Not only was she delusional, she was Australian!

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    Always learning Ionica's Avatar
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    Some Americans may be caught out with one of those , if they were questioned.
    Constructive critique of my photos is welcome and appreciated.


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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ionica View Post
    Some Americans may be caught out with one of those , if they were questioned.
    Stuff that, it's to subtle.

    Have you engaged in criminal or immoral activities?
    Yes.
    You can stand to be President then.

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    You forgot to mention the lack of humor displayed by passport control.

    These guys just do not get it - when you have just flown 20+ hours and have gone through security checks twice even before you land in the US, why can't they understand us Aussies like to "crack" a joke or two when we line up to show our passports. I just cannot help myself - and contrary to my wifes warnings I went one joke too far last time and ended up sitting in the back room for 3 hours as punishment (just so I would miss my connecting flight). I have since learnt to bite my tongue.

    I recently read US passport control officers were being sent to Thailand to learn how to smile and greet passengers at airports. I still won't be cracking jokes on the way in next time!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian500au View Post
    You forgot to mention the lack of humor displayed by passport control.
    You're not kidding! I have the same experience - they've all had humour by-pass operations, had their facial muscles paralysed in case of inadvertent smiling and simply haven't a clue what it means to be friendly!

    I understand that they're all a bit paranoid about people wanting to blow them up, but someone should tell them that people would be less inclined to wish them ill if they just made some effort to be pleasant and welcoming!! You put a uniform on some people and it turns them into the most unlikable people you could hope to meet.

    I've decided not to bother going there any more - it's not worth the angst.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Boo53's Avatar
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    If you get a chance listen to this "Jon Faine conversation hour" interview with Australian Citizen (born in Iran to Iraqi parents) Comedian Osama Sami. Us of European background have enough trouble with Septics - we thought

    https://soundcloud.com/774-abc-melbo...ptember-9-2016

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo53 View Post
    If you get a chance listen to this "Jon Faine conversation hour" interview with Australian Citizen (born in Iran to Iraqi parents) Comedian Osama Sami. Us of European background have enough trouble with Septics - we thought

    https://soundcloud.com/774-abc-melbo...ptember-9-2016

    I had a look, but the sound didn't seem to reflect what the text said it was about, so i gave up. 8*(

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Remember, it's a specific genre of gentlefolk we're discussing, not generalisations on national leanings.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Customs at LAX can be intimidating after a 14-hour flight. Lots of high-power guns on display and officers shouting "USA. USA." and pointing to lines for US citizens and then berating people who don't speak English for getting in the wrong line. It is quite confusing. Just play it straight and answer the questions and you will be fine. Once in the country, I have found most Americans to be very warm and welcoming. As a plus, they just love Aussies. God only knows why sometimes though.

    In contrast, US Customs in Hawaii is a breeze with the very friendly officers there giving us tips on what to see, etc.

    The Americans probably take exception to being sprayed with insecticide after landing in Australia. I know that I do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthy View Post
    The Americans probably take exception to being sprayed with insecticide after landing in Australia. I know that I do.
    Yeah ... I used to hate that too. Hasn't happened for several years now - unless it's just on certain flights.

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobt View Post
    If Trump gets in we'll all be stuffed. Interestingly, i came across the first person I've spoken to who not only likes Trump but also liked Tony Abbott! Not only was she delusional, she was Australian!
    Her name wasn't Pauline, was it?
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian500au View Post
    You forgot to mention the lack of humor displayed by passport control.

    These guys just do not get it - when you have just flown 20+ hours and have gone through security checks twice even before you land in the US, why can't they understand us Aussies like to "crack" a joke or two when we line up to show our passports. I just cannot help myself - and contrary to my wifes warnings I went one joke too far last time and ended up sitting in the back room for 3 hours as punishment (just so I would miss my connecting flight). I have since learnt to bite my tongue.

    I recently read US passport control officers were being sent to Thailand to learn how to smile and greet passengers at airports. I still won't be cracking jokes on the way in next time!!!!
    Perhaps in the spirit of a "free trade agreement" us orziees should educate visitors from the US to the subtleties of our sense of humour.
    I propose that we have special members from our Border Farce ( dressed in singlets, board shorts and flip flops with a holstered boomerang ) stationed at all airports to direct Americans towards a sign that reads " Entry point for US passport holders 1.609344 kilomtres this way.
    On arrival at the single desk you will be required to accurately state your height in centimetres and your weight in kilograms. Current delay, 3 hours."
    Andrew
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Perhaps in the spirit of a "free trade agreement" us orziees should educate visitors from the US to the subtleties of our sense of humour. I propose that we have special members from our Border Farce ( dressed in singlets, board shorts and flip flops with a holstered boomerang ) stationed at all airports
    I can almost hear the "snap" of the rubber gloves as they prepare a "special" security check for you!

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Perhaps in the spirit of a "free trade agreement" us orziees should educate visitors from the US to the subtleties of our sense of humour.
    I propose that we have special members from our Border Farce ( dressed in singlets, board shorts and flip flops with a holstered boomerang ) stationed at all airports to direct Americans towards a sign that reads " Entry point for US passport holders 1.609344 kilomtres this way.
    On arrival at the single desk you will be required to accurately state your height in centimetres and your weight in kilograms. Current delay, 3 hours."
    Now that is classic Ozzie humor

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    Fishy
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    We travelled from Vancouver (Canada) to Seattle (USA) via hire car on a trip. As we approached the border a line of cars 3 miles long and 6 deep appeared. Fortunately we went into the hire car lane and nearly straight through. Our driver told us there would be a 3 hour wait for those people. There was a similar que on the return journey.
    PS. I did crack a joke in this pokey little border post but it went straight through to the keeper. I must have been lucky. Cheers Brian
    Cheers Brian.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Brain. You think that's bad? - Have you ever been in gridlock in Sydney? (Or Melbourne, I'd imagine.)
    - And there's not even a border to cross. Yep! Lunacy knows no bounds

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    Member Liney's Avatar
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    When I sat my citizenship test (yes I was originally a POM....) I had to answer similar questions. First one was something like "have you ever been expelled from a country?" Answer No, next question.

    Have you ever been a member of an organisation that intended to plot against Australia? Well we had various sporting supporters clubs, but I guess that's a No too.

    Final question, have you ever been trained in the use of arms or explosives, been part of a militia, paramilitary police force, etc. etc. At this point I had to tick the Yes box, being an ex serviceman. This caused much consternation as they hadn't had anyone answer "yes" before....

    So I had to give details, years, etc, at which point I was tempted to list the commanding officer as "Mrs Betty Windsor, c/o The Big House, The Mall London" but thought better of it.
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    Ausphotography Veteran
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liney View Post
    When I sat my citizenship test (yes I was originally a POM....) I had to answer similar questions.
    I don't remember having to answer questions when I was naturalised (I'm an ex Pom as well). I think in those days they accepted that we poms were going to raise the National Quality Index just by agreeing to grace these colonial shores ......

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