my interactions with customs/border/security agents

Not for nothing, I understand that being a border agent can be kinda monotonous and annoying. You probably see all kinds of crazy stuff, and at the same time, after awhile, nothing must phase you really.

That said, here are synopses of my conversations… you know, word for word because I’m crazy like that…

Frankfurt to Pune…

No questions. The guy barely looked at me. He started talking to another agent and then pushed my passport back to me. Stamp stamp stamp, done.

Delhi airport to Newark…

The border agent was a bit of a doof actually. He asked me where Jamkhed is. He said, “I’ve never heard of Jamkhed.”

I thought, but did not say out loud, “Have you heard of every city in India?” Instead I said out loud, “well it’s a town somewhere 4 hours south and east of Pune.”

Him: So you were in Pune?

Me: Yes. I arrived in Pune from Germany.

Him: Pune has an international airport?

Me: As far as I can tell it is.

Him: You came on an international flight?

Me: Yes, it came from one country to this country.

Him: (smiling in a way that made me want to smack him in any language) I didn’t know Pune had international flights.

Me: Ok, you got me. I came here by magic.

Him: (the agent next to him started laughing – and my agent looked up at me for what seemed like the first time) Magic huh? Ok good. (he laughed and handed me my passport.)

I thought what’s the worst that could happen? I get thrown into prison and my life becomes a movie starring Hilary Swank and/or Nicolas Cage. I’d love it if Nicolas Cage plays me.

Newark security…

Agent: Are you nervous?

Me: I’m pretty tired.

Agent: You’re fidgety.

Me: I’m usually fidgety. I haven’t had much sleep.

Agent: Where are you coming from?

Me: India.

Agent: How long does that take?

Me: Like 20 some hours.

Agent: Ok. But stop being fidgety ok?

Me: Um, ok.

Newark customs…

Agent: (looking at passport) Is this your passport?

Me: Yes.

Agent: Where were you born?

Me: Korea.

Agent: I was in Korea.

Me: (Great, here we go) Oh yea.

Agent: When were you in Korea?

Me: 1973.

Agent: When?

Me: 1973.

Agent: (smiling) Wow.

Me: Yea thanks.

Agent: 1973.

Handed me my passport and I walked away thinking welcome home…


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