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Visiting the USA

By neilb@uk ·
or, rather, not visiting the USA.

I've been to the USA on vacation a dozen or more times. Love it and love you all. Although, on every flight I've filled in that silly green card with its stupid questions: "Were you ever a member of the Nazi party?".

Last time, I filled in my details on the new Electronic System for Travel Authorization, ESTA, a couple of weeks prior and although I have to reckon it the crappiest website ever invented, it was probably easier than trying to fill the card in on an economy flight table. The questions aren't any better: "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 you involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?". Ah, well... That would be telling.

Now, it would seem, we have to comply with the ESTA and pay for the privilege, starting on 8th September. OK, so it's only 14 USD but - and this is where I get slightly ticked off - the charge is not to pay for the service but is intended to be used to promote US tourism.

You want ME to pay for YOUR tourist promotion? Nope. Don't we Brits (and others) contribute enough to you tourism?

Now, I could fill it in now while it's free and it's good for the next two years but my passport needs renewing and the ESTA goes with it. And so does next year's trip.

It's the principle. The USA is a rich country and I go there to spend money - lots of it - on travel, accommodation, food and entertainment. I already pay US customs $2.70, a US immigration fee of $3.50 and a US animal and plant health inspection services user fee of about $2.50 every time I travel (and I don't get anything from that).

This year, I'm driving to Rimini, in Italy, and I'll pass through seven countries and not only will it not cost me anything when I cross the borders, I won't even have to show my passport.


My erstwhile membership of the Waffen SS will probably be quite useful in Switzerland.

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Not larger than OUR pints

by neilb@uk In reply to and Litres are larger

Our pints are a full-bodied 20oz so 500ml glasses of beer are less than we are used to. Luckily, pubs still serve pints.

We are resisting metrication in every way possible. The idea, put forward a few years ago, to move us to Kilometeres, was quickly shelved when the PTB realised that it would cost billions and not really achieve anything at all.


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That explains it!

by Ed Woychowsky In reply to Not larger than OUR pints

My British friend can drink me under the table because he's had more practice. I've only been doing 16 oz. curls!

Boy, am I a slacker!

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Yep, them British pints will get you

by NickNielsen In reply to That explains it!

A friend of mine brought some pint glasses back from his assignment to England. He was sorely disappointed to find out it took almost two 12-oz. bottles of beer to fill those "pint" glasses....

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That's what tourists are for.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Visiting the USA

Seriously, many state and local governments find ways to milk tourists for tax purposes. Many areas charge hotel taxes; obviously only out-of-towners (-countriers) pay those. Don't European countries do the same?

You've been paying for our tourism promotion all along. This time it's just more in your face.

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Not to mention that the AU Government

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to That's what tourists are ...

Charges people to come to and leave AU. Even it's own people have to pay for the privilege to leave the country and return for a holiday.

Could be the reason that the Current Federal Pollies don't like the Boat People they are not paying the Arrival Tax so they are not welcome.

Those who fly in and then disappear as Illegal Immigrants at least Pay their Arrival Tax so they are acceptable and don't rate any Red Neck Style Complaints. What I find funny about both the current Political Party Leaders when they go on about the Immigrant Problem as they perceive it, they both fail to mention that they came here as $10.00 Poms all those years ago. On a Boat. :^0


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by seanferd In reply to Not to mention that the A ...

Hey, they need some way to pay for the school chaplaincy.

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by maecuff In reply to Visiting the USA

And I was going to have a party in your honor. We'd goosestep around the back yard. Maybe have a barbeque..

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But Mae here the real question is

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Dammit!

Who is it that you where planing on Barbecuing?

Col ]:)

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by neilb@uk In reply to But Mae here the real que ...

Woo! I thought it, but didn't post it!

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by maecuff In reply to Colin!

i thought i was being subtle.

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