So all you world travellers then - a 2 point question - how many passport stamps you got? Me in my passport (which is only 1 year old!) l got 10 and the same in my old passport (still only started using it Properly in 2003!)
Secondly - whats the worst immigration experience you've had - for me the last time we travelled - through LAX - a green card had been left in my passport when we did a land crossng in Canada/US - so l had followed Embassy advice posted it back to Kentucky along with evidence l HAD NOT been in USA - yet at LAX was hauled through to secondary inspection - told nothing set there alone not knowing what was going on! THANK GOD l had brought relevant evidence with me and copies of all documents l had posted off - apparently never received and after half hour wait (we had a connection to Vegas to catch!) l was eventually stamped into country.
Look forward to hearing the stories!!
I love passport stamps as silly as it may sound!!!They look really pretty and its always impressive if people pick it up to have a look!!!!Ive had a couple of shady experiences.....one was when I was flying out of Singapore...they refused to beleive that it was actually me on my passport!!!Id been travelling a while so was looking a bit of a mess and my usually straight hair has transformed into a wild mass of curls!!!In their defence I admit I didnt look much like my passport picture at the time, after several phonecalls made and close scrutiny of every single card in my purse and a lot of questions and actually having to show them a pair of hair straigteners to show that sometimes its curly, sometimes straight, they eventually let me through!But it was kinda scary!!!!
Another time as going through security, I was halued aside and taken into a room, door shut, rubber gloves on, I thought I was going to be strip searched!!!Turned out all it was, was that I had a few pins and needles in my bag!!!!
I love passport stamps too! It's my mission to fill my passport...
Funniest/worst immigration experience was when I was 7 or 8 years old. My parents were taking me on a family holiday in Malta and we were waiting in line for immigration. When it was our turn, the Maltese police/army who man the immigration desks suddenly started having a really heated discussion about my dad. They wandered off with his passport, ordering us to wait (what else were we going to do?). They finally came back and carted my dad away for 'questioning'. An hour later they returned him to my mum and I (by that time I was very very scared that I'd never see my dad again! ). It turned out that there was a criminal on the run with the same surname as us and he sometimes used the first name Paul, which unfortunately is my dad's name! Terrifying for a 7 year old!
Other immigration experiences include getting on the wrong side of Turkish immigration, I annoyed him so much he snapped his fingers at me and shouted 'BOARDING CARD, WOMAN'! at me. My boyfriend was in hysterical laughter as I always manage to pee off immigration people unintentionally!
Yeah these guys can be scary cant they?!?!?Another incident I had was when I was leaving from Bangkok, I hadnt planned to fly out of they so hadnt been prepared for the Airport departure tax and only had 440Baht to my name, cards were maxed out, I was on my way home!!!It was auful!!Spent ages begging to be let through!I had a few pounds in English change in my bag and begged and begged the girls at the exchange place to give me 60 B in exchange for about £6!!!They werent having any of it, even whipped out the tears for added effect but they didnt care!In the end after all this drama the lovely lady working for Singapore Airlines caught wind of my situation and offered to give me 60 Baht out of her own pocket in exchange for a postcard from London I was only too happy to oblige!!!!Nice to know that there are some nice people out there!!!!
Its nice when people go out of their way to help! Singapore Airlines staff are really nice when you fly with them too!
i had two nasty experiences both when i was in north america
1) going to toronto to visit some friends, got of the greyhound bus with my friends to go through canadian immigration - in the que, my friends were slightly behind me...immigration official asked me whats my business in canada i said 'holiday' he then said where in canada you going, i said toronto then he said WHERE in toronto! i said i dont know as i got a friends number to phone and my mates in the que had the address, i turned around and asked my mate brian to give me the address as soon as i did that...canadian official whipped out club and held it to my head and said i had no reason to talk anyone else in the que. he then said to me do i speak english in ireland...i said no...we speak irish! he then told me to move a long...
coming back from canada going into america...american border police were driving beside our train for 10 minutes then trains stop...police want to check everyones passport and bring on sniffer dogs for drugs...i was sitting on my own at the front carriage my friends at the back...there was 3 of us and the only available seat i could find was one on my own away from my friends...as they were going through the passports they noticed the irish passports but noticed we were sitting on either sides of the carriage, asked if i was friends with the goons at the back of the train, i said yes...he then said to me that he couldnt understand why i was sitting at the front and my mates at the back, i explained and he then said to me, isnt that a little odd? i said no...
Got stopped at US Immigration in Detroit because I was staying for almost the full term under the Visa Waiver - the woman searched through all my baggage, checked my money, everything. I was detained for about four hours in total. I thought at one point they were going to send me back . . . And because of that I was stopped in Orlando two years ago when I was going on holiday for two weeks. The Immigration Officer was much more pleasent though, asked me how much money I had and stamped my passport.
My worst immigration experience was totally my own fault, down to naivety on my first trip.
I met some nice people whilst travelling in the middle-east, and when I got to Cairo agreed to take a bag back to London for them (yup)
Soon after checking in at Cairo airport, I was accosted by two large security men, who told me that they wanted to talk to me about 'my bag'.
Obviously, at this point I was thinking 'Egyptian prison, here I come'.
When I got to 'my bag', a third security guard was examining it through an X-ray machine, and pointed out on the camera what appeared to be a very long blade. 'What's this?' he said. I didn't know, so I unpacked the bag and thankfully it turned out to be a coin belt filled with coins which just looked like a blade on the X-ray.
So it was OK - but a scary moment, a good lesson learnt - never carry a bag for anyone, no matter how nice they seem.
I witnessed strange goings-on at immigration in Delhi.
Basically, a Thai lady-boy was at the counter in front of me. HeShe showed her passport to the female immigration officer, who was clearly confused why a 'lady' with lots of make up, ladies clothes and other lady like features (ie a pair of breasts) was trying to get into India with a mans passport. The ladyboy became very flustered and embarrassed, and the immigration official was very confused with all sorts of people trying to bridge the language gap between the 2 and explain the concept of ladyboys. Things were only resolved when aircrew from our Thai flight got involved.
In a 'it's a small world' type of twist, i saw the very same lady boy with her/his ladyboy friend in a camera shop the next day and they asked me for advice on camera accessories. See, just proves Delhi is a small place!!
I hate passport stamps. My passport is only 7 years old and nearly full. When I get home from my current trip I have to renew as I only have two free pages and need three visas for my next trip.
The problem I have faced is travelling on an Aussie passport, living in England with Right of Abode and travelling into EU countries on a monthly basis. You get a stamp every time you go into an EU country. Great if you are collecting stamps but a dam pain if you are running out of pages. I was in southern and eastern Africa for 5 months, moving about a lot which didn't help, while namibia seem to want to dominate my passport, I have to say, South Africa were polite and tried to keep all of me entry/exits to one page.
I haven't had any BAD border experiences although going into Mozabmique from Zimbabwe took about 2 hours and recently on a train from Romania to Bulgaria they walked off with my passport and I had to chase it. Never really found out what they were up to.