Coming Home

June 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm 8 comments

I just got back from Europe and had the opportunity to visit places in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. It was a great time to go away and recharge. In future posts, I hope to share with you tidbits and photos about this trip.

A friend once asked her mother to visit California to see the redwood trees. “What for?” she replied. “There are also trees in Brooklyn.”

I can relate to her mother. Traveling can be a nightmare and not worth the hassle, especially if you’re coming home to the U.S. from abroad.

Last Friday, I arrived at the Dulles International Airport after a 10-hour flight from Vienna. I had to go through immigration and clear customs before boarding the connecting flight to San Francisco. It was like a zoo with a number of international flights arriving at the same time.

After collecting my backpack, I went straight to the customs area.

“How long have you been out of the country?” the customs officer asked.

“17 days,” I answered.

“What’s the purpose of your trip?”

“I went on a holiday.”

“Are you bringing fruits, vegetables, plants, meats or currency in excess of $10,000?”

“No, sir.”

The customs officer then pointed to the examination area and directed me to open my backpack for security check.

After opening my backpack, he told me to step behind the line and not cross it and keep my hands visible at all time and out of my pocket.

A seasoned traveler told me that putting your dirty underwear on top would discourage further inspection. It didn’t work this time. He went through my stuff with abandon with intent to prove my guilt.

Finally, he gave up, told me to gather my belongings, and get out of there.

Well, I understand that he was just doing his job and should be grateful for his dedication. But, at least, he should have been courteous and not treat me like a criminal.

After leaving the customs area, I re-checked my backpack with the airline and went through security screening before entering the boarding area where I waited for another six hours for the connecting flight. I spent the time taking a nap, catching up with my reading, and walking like a zombie in no particular order.

I arrived in San Francisco around midnight. Since the subway station was already closed, I had to wait at the airport for daylight to go home. Needless to say, I was exhausted.

I surely need a vacation after my vacation.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , , .

wordless wednesday: into the wide blue yonder Inside Germany: Lost in Trier

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. seeker  |  June 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Welcome back.

    • 2. plaridel  |  June 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm


      thank you.

  • 3. Amy  |  June 11, 2014 at 2:36 am

    I just came back from Spain. I can relate to your experience at the airport… Look forward to seeing your travel photos πŸ™‚

    • 4. plaridel  |  June 11, 2014 at 6:49 pm


      i have some interesting photos. i’ll post them as soon i’ve sorted them out. πŸ™‚

  • 5. draliman  |  June 11, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Welcome back! Airports and all the enhanced security is one of the reasons I don’t go abroad any more. I can’t handle the stress.

    • 6. plaridel  |  June 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm


      i hear you. it used to be that getting there was part of the fun. it’s no longer true. 😦

  • 7. AC  |  June 17, 2014 at 3:22 am

    a seasoned traveler told me that putting your dirty underwear on top would discourage further inspection. — hahahaha! i used to do that too! πŸ˜€

    • 8. plaridel  |  June 17, 2014 at 10:19 am


      well, the strategy didn’t work. i had to be discreet from now on. πŸ™‚


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