General discussion


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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by neilb@uk In reply to And

depends on your audience...


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by maecuff In reply to Subtle
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that is

by Jaqui In reply to But Mae here the real que ...

plural right?
not a singular who.

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That bites, Neil

by jck In reply to Visiting the USA

But, you're not alone.

To renew my passport went from $75 to $110.

That's 6 pints of beer difference!

Damn American bureaucrats.

BTW, got any jobs over there yet? lol

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Times are hard, John

by neilb@uk In reply to That bites, Neil

They've got to get money from anywhere that they can. You, me...


No jobs, sorry. We're being outsourced in February. Not too sure what is going to happen.

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Oh, thats pretty bad

by AV . In reply to Visiting the USA

Who in their right mind would answer yes to any of those questions?

Welcome to the the country that nickels and dimes you to death. If you live here, you're used to that, but that is no way to promote tourism!

Still, Italy is beautiful. Good choice, Neil. Have lots of good food and wine and an excellent time.


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RE: Who in their right mind...

by NexS In reply to Oh, thats pretty bad

I know who!

A very honest Al-Qaeda terrorist.

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So now we know...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to RE: Who in their right mi ...

If you check yes, you'll wake up next in guantanamo. Waterboarding is free, and every hour is happy hour.

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by highmigh In reply to Visiting the USA
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