Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Comprendo? Comprenez? Capiche?

Yesterday, we visited Niagara Falls and spent the night in Ontario, Canada. Upon re-entering the US this morning, we got stuck in the Loser Queue at the immigration booths. Sitting in the car watching our fingernails grow, we assumed that the US immigration officer assigned to our lane must be really strict and demanding a great amount of detail from each driver. Painfully slow, but fair enough.

When it FINALLY got to our turn:

(After a few initial questions about our whereabouts in Canada)

Officer: How long are you going to be in the United States for?

DC: For a couple more months, then we'll be going down to South America.

Officer: When will you be going back to Singapore?

DC: In 2010

Officer (brandishing white immigration slips attached to our passports): But this stamp in your passport says you can't stay beyond September 2009.

DC: Yes. We'll be leaving the US by then.

Officer: But you said that you're only going back home in 2010.

DC (exasperated tone): Er, yessssss..... because we will be going to South America before that.

Officer: Oh I see. Okay, you may proceed. Thanks.

We finally get to move on with our lives. We understand the need to be strict about immigration. But don't ask us a host of questions for the sake of asking them, and then not bother to listen to our answers. In one ear, out the other.

Now I know why Listening Comprehension was such a big thing in primary school. It was to train us to really listen and not just to hear.

2 comments:

Mark said...

Think we have all at one time or another personally faced or seen these dim-witted immigration officers at work. They treat all and sundry like scum and act as if you are asking to be let into heaven! Can't stand how smug they are and how clever (NOT!!!) they think they are when questioning you!

Yeepster said...

It's the similar fringe hairstyle you both have that confused the poor passport control officer. Fringe control!

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