Another American Asophy
It’s always bound to be a hassle if you’re unlucky enough to have anything at all to do with the big US-and-A. And as I happen to be a regular US traveller/ student/ apparently potential terrorist, my life is all about hassle now. I’m a tolerant person, and I’m ready to overlook the fact that Americans and happy people with a Green Card won’t be able to get a Swiss bank account anytime soon. I’m also forgetting about the foreign work and education restrictions as well as plain ignoring the immigration policies altogether, which can only be described as borderline openly discriminating. But even apart from those somewhat comprehensible issues, this US-special-status-joke is going way out of hand. As just a visiting tourist, you’re subjected to serious emotionally abusive interrogation these days.
I was up for a one-day-trip from Vancouver to Seattle last summer, when I was forced into this particularly pointless yet insulting conversation: “What’s your business here?!”, the customs officer barked at me, as if I were barely allowed to breathe on this planet without his permission. And I was prone to say: “Like I’d tell you if I were to shoot the President, huh? No, I’m just here to rob a few empty banks, don’t strain yourself.” But I didn’t, because I’m a coward, and he went on about why on earth a European like me would stay in Canada and from there travel to the US, slipping off political correctness at several points, and I tried very hard to explain that I was simply doing what I coincidentally happened to want to do. This seemed to be a major complication. “Why are you travelling? Where do you get your money from? What are your intentions? Explain yourself!” OK, so I was starting to be sorry I was born. Things were becoming comical when finally, I was generously allowed to enter the glorious Land of the Free and spend my money right to their liking. ONLY spend, not earn. And no funny business. Because In God We Trust!
I won’t even get started on what it took me to get a US student visa last year. I’m a completely harmless kid from rich Switzerland who got accepted to an Ivy League college, I paid my outrageous tuition bill 6 months in advance and they were still doubting I wouldn’t turn into a homeless dealer in Manhattan? Oh well then, have it your way. I’m back to study in Switzerland again.
It sometimes still stuns me how very shortsightedly American foreign politics keep being implemented. Fighting terrorism, are we? So is behaving like a snobish VIP club going to help the case? Affronting perfectly well meaning people willing to raise the average US standards of a near-developing-country-level? Not a very constructive course of action. Obamanomics needs to bring massive change. But we all know that already, so I’m going to shut up now and try to get my next visa. Because no matter how stupid and fat they get, I’ll always love American bullies. They just can’t help it.