Friday, September 26, 2008

In the Airport Prison

So I thought, on this Friday, with the country's economy in the craphole and the muckety-mucks in DC in shouting matches, that I'd share with you a funny/annoying story from our trip to Barbados.

When you come back into the U.S. from another country, you have to go through passport control. You show the border officer your passport, they look at your picture and your name and your customs form, they stamp your passport, and you go off to collect your bags to recheck them in the US.

When we came back into Miami from Barbados, Jim presented his passport to the border officer. There was a problem. She couldn't process his passport. Without explaining to us what the problem was, she said that the "main office" would have to process it. So off we go (I had to go, too, I couldn't just leave him), escorted by another officer to the main office. Which was locked, and the officers inside had to buzz us in.

Inside the main office, there were torn-up chairs to sit on like a doctor's waiting room - in hell. Most of the chairs were full. We were told to take a seat. Thank goodness for a 9-hour layover.

No one told us why we were here. Someone came by and asked us what flight we were on, and if we had a baggage ticket. Still, no explanation.

I had to go to the bathroom, but they wouldn't let me out of the "office." There was a bathroom in the office, there was no lock for the door, and there was no door on the stall. I'd never been so humiliated and mad in my entire life. I was an American citizen, and I felt like a drug smuggler.

Finally, they call Jim to the counter. They tell him his first and last name is the same as someone they're looking for. Now, here's what makes me mad. His middle name is VERY unique - it's Japanese. The officer who checked us out of prison said that Jim's middle name is what let him off. DUDE! His middle name is on his passport. The original border officer could see it clear as day. So we had to go through all this anyway?

I'm all for security. But stupidity is a whole different ballgame. Especially when I have to pee with no doors.

Happy Friday!

9 comments:

Janet said...

How cool that he has a Japanese middle name! How'd that happen?

Carmen and Jim said...

Ha, because his mom is Japanese. :)

Goofy Girl said...

I have a Japanese middle name too :)

Renee said...

Thank goodness he had a unique middle name! But they should have had more info on the guy they wanted at the first check point so that you didn't have to go through that. Especially knowing how common Jim's first name is. I think a nasty gram is in order...at the very least they should have a better bathroom. I think it's a shame that you and others who are innocent have to go through such horrors.
I guess it makes me more thankful that I have a very unique last name...thanks to my DH's great grandfather (he changed it by dropping two letters when he came to the US so that he would be unique. Now only his direct decedants & their wives have that name.)

Cheysuli and gemini said...

My husband was listed on the do not fly list but they let him fly. He's never been stopped again. I think sometimes these measures to just to make us THINK they are doing their job rather than actually doing anything to keep us safe...

~Virginia~ said...

that's insane. stupidity, indeed.

Melli said...

Sounds ALMOST as bad as the time my MILITARY daughter in travel fatigues mentioned the "B" word while waiting in line! She & her travel buddy ALMOST didn't make it home for Thanksgiving! Of course... that was her OWN stupid fault! Poooooooor Jim! (and you too!)

YellowRose said...

What an aggravating situation, it's those little stupid things that make traveling such a pain in the rear!

I'd be po'd if I had to potty with no doors too! ;)

*~Puzzle~* said...

You're right! That is a very funny story. I'd hate to be in the same situation though. I wouldn't have a sense of humour about it at all. I would be as agravated as you. I also would rather hold it in then use a toilet with no doors...you're very brave.