Sunday, 19 January 2014

You are Now Entering …. America

Flashback : USA Visa Application
Back 4 months ago in Singapore, my plans to travel round the world was almost killed prematurely when the USA embassy rejected my first tourist visa application. If I couldn’t step onto US soil the only way to go round the world was to go either Canada or South America. Too much hassle when I had less then a month to plan so with ‘hope’ I applied again and luckily got a merciful tourist visa …

My profile was horribly a ‘Jumper’ …

Are you married : No
Do you have any relative or friends in USA : No
Have you ever been to the USA : No
Do you have any reason to return / leave USA after travels : I answered yes such as family and work … but the immigration officer looked at me like I could have jump plane and try to stay in the states for indefinite time … no property, no gf, nothing to tie me anywhere …  a jumper … hence rejected …

Show me proof you have enough money to go around the world …… the second round with all my savings from all my banks which was just enough to travel on a shoestring the officer asked the big question

Why do you wannar travel the world ? : Life long dream I said …
Collect your passport in a week …. Yippee ….

London Heathrow Airport

So here I was standing at Heathrow Airport waiting in line to get my boarding pass. Before I could even reach the counter there was a mini check by the US gov body with a small table in the middle of the line …. Checking my passport, my visa, asking questions, giving me that cold special agent look but luckily still allowed me passage.

So I passed the test to board the plane to USA … peace for the next 16 hours of flight.

Touchdown NEW WORLD 

I was damm excited when the plane finally landed. New York, America … first step in the NEW World, land of freedom, land of opportunity … well I still needed to get through the immigration and customs before my imagination of actually considering being a ‘Jumper’hiding in some small town orchard working as a illegal Asian fruit picker, and hopefully after 10 years of illegal stay the somehow a green card and the full blown American dream.

Yep .. I was daydreaming a lot between the plane to the passing of immigration …

Queuing up to get my passport checked the pre check officer was asking for passports and checking them slowly … my turn came and she read out loud ….

“So where did you come from ?? Ah … Greece, italy, Switzerland , ladada bla bla bla, Backpacking eh ?” the officer asked

*glup* Yep I answered … doing the Round the World gig …

Next up was the actual immigration officer at the counter

Q1 : How long are you planning to stay ?
A : about a month and half
Q2 : You have a return ticket
A : Showed my RTW ticket
Q3 : How do you get by with money
A : I have my ATM card and credit card

… *STAMP* …

That was easier that I thought it would be … quickly went on to grab my bags and exit the airport before some idiots change their minds.

What I notice was the bags … was outside the arrival area … now if you were say not flying but instead drove to the airport walk up to the conveyor belts of luggage ( its accessible by outside people ) you could grab a few luggage and quickly before the CCTV camera catches you and guards swarm you … which I believe most of them just sleeps on the job … you could actually steel peoples luggage before then even clear immigration …. Scary …

I saw my backpack …. In one piece …  Phew …

Walking out that door from the airport .. Stepping on the footpath … breathing the cool air …

America … land of opportunities ….

I was exited for my new adventures to come

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