Price of visiting America

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securityI am sitting in my hotel room in Boston, at the end of a short trip to attend a holography gathering at MIT. I did a live webcast and recorded the show, as a small contribution. I met several colleagues whom I had not seen for around 20 years, but the years had not dented our friendship. So a great trip all around.

What spoilt it was being treated as a third class citizen at the airport. Even though I am a British citizen, the fact that I was born in Iran means that once again I had to endure “secondary inspection”. This would be fine if it were carried out with reasonable efficiency, but only one official was assigned to dealing with 40 or so passengers, and he made a point of showing he was in no hurry. It took three extra hours for me to leave the airport, after normal passport control. And some 2 1/2 hours of that was simply waiting for my passport to come to the front of the plastic storage box. In the end the same mundane questions as before, like my place of work, etc, were asked. There was no way of contacting my friends outside to tell them of the long wait, so a thoroughly frustrating episode.

The only reason I go through this degradation is to see my friends of many years. So I’ll need a good reason to come back to US soon…

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