December 21, 2012 in Travel
Two days ago, I flew home on the usually disturbing transatlantic flight back to the United States. The plane had the normal annoyances in abundance: screaming kids, shitty food, fat people inching into my Rhineland. But that’s to be expected. What I can never seem to get used to is the re-entry into the United States through US Customs and Homeland Security. First there were two officers, grasping the leashes of two huge dogs pacing back and forth across a narrow hallway. Then there was entry security, two guards who for some reason wanted to see your boarding pass. Then there was US border security. A long line snaked back and forth, with giant overhead screens showing waving American flags, fun at Coney Island, and people of diverse cultures saluting Old Glory. Totally absurd. After the border security, there was more US customs, asking me to step aside so they could assess whether I had any chemicals with or on me. 10 steps later, US customs officers were asking for my customs form and asking me the normal 5 questions about foreign plants, currency amounts, whether I had ‘contact’ with any animals lately…
The whole thing was fairly dehumanizing and incredibly tedious. And that’s as a white male. I can only imagine what it’s like for that to be the first introduction to the United States. But I guess it’s a fitting one.
I’ve been looking through old pages on this website and chuckling at how quickly roles, experience, and perspectives change. This time last year I was going to write 3 books! Some even sounded interesting! But so far, no books. On the other hand, I found exactly the pathway I was looking for: working with amazing people on epic projects. A movie for enjoyment!