Link to Profile Semperoper, Dresden Sieg (auf dem Siegesäule), Berlin Brandenburg Tor, Berlin Skyline, Frankfurt am Main

Friday, April 07, 2006

Back in the World

That's what we called travelling to the US in my Air Force days. The gods were good to me, but the trip still took too many hours for my liking. In my Air Force days I had developed what we used to jokingly call a "20-hour a**" (a phrase that in retrospect seems a lot more obscene than it did back then ... I must have been too literal back then).

The airline was also good to me, upgrading me to Business class for the trip over the water. I thought that the three hour layover in at the Port of Entry would be too much, but it is amazing how much time the TSA and its random searches can take out of one's margin of time, which meant that instead of sitting in the Club room and having a few adult beverages I was wasting a lot of time parading sans shoes and sans belt and being probed and felt up.

If you have never flown into one of the major Ports of Entry, you go through customs, then you pick up your bags, and if you are connecting you then re-deposit them and then go through yet another security line even though you have not once left the protected part of the airport. It can play havoc with connections. It used to be that having a one-hour gap between flights was enough, but now that TSA has enhanced its "screen anybody who might not look like an actual threat" program, you need to now allow for at least two hours to get through.

It's probably easier to sneak across the border ... oh, don't want to go there! Suffice it to say, the one thing that might cost the Republicans both the House and the White House is the combination of how easy they have made it for 11 Million+ "undocumented immigrants" to invade the US at the same time they have made it so difficult for several hundred million legal visitors and citizens to visit or return to it, and to then travel around it.

To simply travel around the US has become a pain. Do you think the sight of 3-year old girls and 80-year-old Grandmothers being wanded on their way home from Disneyworld and what administration brought this reign of terror upon the American people is lost on the average voter? The question is, can the Democrats play the issue without looking soft on security?

Probably not, since they are marching on May-Day to support the rights of "undocumented immigrants" to not be hasseled with the Amnesty the Republicans are trying to throw at them with their "immigration reform" bill. Both sides are pandering, and an observer is hard pressed to say that either are on the good side of the issue.

This trip forces me to revert to a US-style keyboard, which might seem like a non-issue to most of you gentle readers, but the "z's" and "y's" keeping catching me off guard.

"@" is back in its old familiar location, but since that is where " " " used to be, I can't quote anzthing, and mz emails keep going to And now I have to answer e-mails from Germany with "fuer" and "Gruessen" instead of the familiar umlauted characters, and it just looks odd.

This worries me, because my fallback plan was to take a temporary job back in the US when I get kicked out of Germany for not having a job, and instead of typing 70 wpm with no errors, I am back to below 40 wpm, which hardly makes for a good temp job ;-()

At least I have the right and the documentation to work in the US. Of course, it seems that all of the "good jobs" are bing outsourced, and all of the sh*tty ones have been taken by the "undocumented immigrants" who will do them for half of what they should be paying a decent american like myself. (No, I am not being serious here, but this is what passes for serious political discourse today both in the US and in Europe).

Did you ever stop to wonder if some Roman Senator in 326 A.D. was taking a stand against all of the "undocumented" Goths who were pouring across the borders, while the rest were blathering on about the Goths doing the work that Romans refused to do? Do you think the Romans of 410 A.D. might have had an epiphany that cheap labor was indeed expensive as Rome was being pillaged by the Goths?

I got to read der Speigel cover to cover on the way over, and there were a few articles just begging to be commented on somewhere, so perhaps in a later post as I lie awake jet-lagged.

Until then, all the best from the USA.


Blogger Claire said...

Yes, the trip over has gotten a little ridiculous. The German and I were in the U.S. for 2 weeks at Christmas. We went through immigration together (you can do that if you are married, saves A LOT of time). The immigration guy asked a lot of questions about my German visa and why were in the U.S., where were we going and how long we were staying. Sheesh, Dude!

LOL! I know have an image of Romans debating Goth-immigration in my head. I guess only a polisci geek would find it funny.

6:15 PM, April 07, 2006  
Blogger Fancy Laces said...

your English is rather good.

1:03 AM, April 08, 2006  

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