My flight from London to Sydney involved a stop for 5 hours in Los Angeles. I really wasn’t looking forward to my brief visit on US soil and that was mainly because I’d heard of horror stories about US airports and, especially, the treatment handed out my US immigration officials to visitors. Well, my experience didn’t turn out too badly, in fact. It was certainly ahecofalot better than my departure from Heathrow’s Terminal 5. The lines at LAX moved quickly (though to be fair, the Americans had more people manning the customs counters and had fewer passengers to process) and the officials were actually respectful and friendly.
I even had a little reason to laugh, albeit only quietly.
Just before arrival, the British Airways flight crew began to hand out the customary landing cards. For me, there was one small white-coloured card and a green “I-94W Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record” card. The latter asked the following question:
Have you ever been or are you now involved in espionage or sabotage; or in terrorist activities; or genocide; or between 1933 and 1945 were involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?
At first, I thought that they couldn’t possibly be serious. But, yes, they really are!