Thursday, April 24, 2008

Welcome home

So we arrived back to the USA last night via Los Angeles International Airport. After going through customs at 3 international airports in Europe, I can officially say that customs and security in the US is head and shoulders worse than anything out there.

I'll give LAX the benefit of the doubt in that it has to be one of the biggest--if not THE biggest--entry points into the USA, but still... How about Heathrow? That has to be the largest entry point into Europe and it was sure packed enough to lead you to believe it so. From the time we got off the plane, cleared customs and grabbed our bags, it could not have been more than 20 minutes; the majority of that time spent waiting for bags. Last night, from the time we got off the plane and were outside waiting for a ride it had to be at least an hour due in large part to a haphazard and overly redundant system of checking and re-checking the same document 4 times.

Whatever. It is what it is, but you just hate ending your trip on the sourest of notes: immigration at LAX.

Oh and a special side-note. I won't get all political on you, but as you're walking down the tunnel to immigration at LAX from the Bradley terminal, you are greeted with pictures of President Bush and Vice President Cheney hanging above the moving walkway so you cannot miss them. No offense to either guy, but with the current state of affairs around the world and the overwhelming popularity of the USA abroad (my sarcasm font wouldn't work for those previous statements) we really want the first thing foreigners see when entering customs the photos of these two guys?? If I were a foreigner, the sight of Boss Hogg and Rosco P. Coltrane would surely deter me from wanting to proceed further. Wait...maybe that's their way of keeping people out of the states and controlling immigration... Good play, USA...good play...

So, posts all next week on the trip with photos now that I am back on my "mothership" system and have uploaded the 600 some photos I took. Needless to say, there are some real winners.

Talk to you soon...

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