A stop sign in paris / anton kovalyov

Lines.

Anton Kovalyov

--

Be me.

Wake up in Paris. Go to the airport. (CDG, by the way, smells like garbage; literally) Wait in line for registration. Wait in line for tax return. Wait in line for passport control. Wait in line for security checkpoint. Get randomly (sigh) picked for secondary inspection. Wait until some guy looks through your dirty clothing.

Spend eleven hours on the airplane. Eat lunch 10,000 ft. in the air somewhere above Greenland.

From South Park, S05E06.

Get to San Francisco. Wait in a very, very long line for non-US citizens. Get your fingerprints scanned and your photo taken. “Welcome back.” Get redirected to the secondary passport inspection. Sit for an hour in a room with other unfortunate people. (This time, however, without a handcuffed angry guy sitting right next to me; but there was a girl with a possible arrest warrant!)

Answer the same set of questions for the third time. (Purpose of a trip, what countries did I visit during the trip, do I have any food—even an apple—in my luggage, etc.) Get your documents back. Attempt to leave the secured area. Get turned around because an officer forgot to draw a small red circle on my customs declaration form.

Get that red circle. Leave the airport.

P.S. To be clear, at no point anyone was mean to me. CBP officers in San Francisco were courteous to everyone there, myself included. Officers in Paris looked extremely bored and didn’t speak much.

--

--