customs -

Tag: customs

  • Unexpected driving criticism

    Ten miles outside of Bellingham, La Serpiente vomited everywhere.

  • Paying to get into America

    Today I filled in an ESTA application form online. Every two years or so I go through this rigmarole; until about 2009, the visa waiver agreement between the UK and the US meant that you just ticked some boxes on a green form before you disembarked in the States, saying you weren’t a terrorist or […]

  • Everyone’s a blagger

    Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that everyone’s a blagger. Even if not all people are blagging it all the time, everyone is blagging it some of the time. And this is the story of how I flew to Bali with my wife and child.

  • Vancouver to Seattle

    We drove back from Vancouver to Seattle today. This wasn’t very exciting, but there were a few notable moments: Getting lost and driving around Canadian industrial estates for half an hour Being overtaken on I-5 by somebody who was abruptly pulled over by the police seconds later Waiting to go through Customs at the border […]

  • Leavenworth to Vancouver

    I drove from Leavenworth to Vancouver today: about five hours, through beautiful mountain passes, along the sides of immense lakes and past frozen waterfalls. And down the high occupancy vehicle lane of the freeway through Seattle, revelling in the clear space put in front of me because I’d installed my wife and child in the […]

  • Slow times at the passport line

    The flight to Seattle was fairly uneventful. There wasn’t much turbulence, our daughter wasn’t too loud, and there wasn’t any bother jamming all our stuff into the overhead storage compartment. I did feel some guilt at taking up an entire compartment with our heavy duty baby carrier, a wheeled suitcase and two backpacks, but then […]

  • Confounded, Dallas Fort Worth

    America seems obsessed with confounding expectations. When I arrived in Dallas, I sprinted through endless corridors, trying to beat the rush to a bank of customs officials, all wearing Stetsons and hating foreigners. Instead, I had a friendly chap process me without any fuss, not a single remark about beards, no angrily correcting me for […]

  • Bearded

    At Miami, as at so many international airports in the US, there’s a rather shambolic welcome to the country to all us damned furriners. I realized, standing in the long queue for immigration that snaked around the hall, that if you looked back the way you had come, there was a sign welcoming you to […]