Flew in on Thursday from Frankfurt to Los Angeles where I was staying for a day and a half with some cousins I had never met. Two little hic-cups.
Firstly the flight I was on was half full of Muslims apparently returning from Mecca, so Homeland Security were taking no chances. We actually got an armed passport check two metres after we got off the plane, on top of all the other checks.
Then I made the mistake of being honest with my immigration form and saying I didn’t know the exact street address of the place I was staying at (for one night!) as my cousin was meeting me at the airport. I could have put any old address down and they would never know but by being honest I got sent to a special line where those who needed to be photographed and finger printed went, as well as me. This was not a fats moving line.
There I was told there was absolutely no way I could enter without giving them an address. Resisting the urge to list 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, I did point out that if they walked with me 100 metres past the baggage claim they could ask my cousin, but no this was too sensible. I tried calling home in NZ to get the address but no answer. They unhelpfully suggested I could just change my flight and get the next flight to NZ rather than staying in LA.
Finally I got sick of trying to do the right thing so went to the phone book, selected the first address that matched the surname and initial of my cousin (there were dozens) and filled this in on the form. The moron on the desk then tried to do some amateur psychology on me and commented that I appeared to be very nervous. Again resisting the urge to quip “Yeah, the bomb is on a timer and I am afraid it will go off while I am still in the airport” and noting he was not just stupid but armed, I just said that he is mistaking frustration with nervousness, as my cousin would have been waiting for me for almost two hours now.
Finally got through it all, and to my amusement found out that the address I supplied, by fluke, happened to be the correct one. I suppose this means I will be allowed back one day.