Laughing, Do They Hassle Americans At Border Crossings? #border
I am so jealous. We loved taking the chicken bus to those surrounding towns from Antigua.
The irony is that i have a harder time coming home to the U.S. as an American citizen (which I mentioned in a recent post) than going to another country. Going to Canada - totally fine, Flying into Guatemala - not bad, smile be polite and use the best Spanish you can muster, but fine. Walking from Guatemala to Honduras fine but had to repeat our arrival date in Guatemala (you only get 90 days between Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) and was confused about fee since quoted in dollars, but wanted lempira or quatzels (I didn't mind paying in Q, but didn't have lempiria yet although there are loud crazy money changers hanging around). Anyway, all fine overall going to these countries. It is coming home to the U.S. that is sometimes problematic. I suppose they know it is one of the few chances they get to harass you since the only other time most people interface with authorities involves driving. I expect being hassled going to other countries and as you can see from my descriptions so far hassles have been very minor, but it is annoying that my own country hassles me when they know I belong there and can tell from their computer that I am not a criminal.
By the way, I do not talk Spanish with any police, aduanos, customs, immigration because they then assume I can understand them 100 percent. I only speak English, forcing them to feel sort of less than, it is negotiations. Yet, as best I can tell they should use more instinctual, and less computer. Pushing a button to decide whether to go through my bags to me is not correct methods. Yet, we can say there are 5000 plus border agents, so who you got was at least a 1 in 5000 odds, or less, or more. There are tons of bad apples working for the police, and tons of good apples, but again, it is just a charisma and personality job we must do with authority. I am really in favor, not joking, of teaching "Charisma and Personality 101" as a required class, even for high schools, we need to be charming. I love body language myself, and as best I can surmise the USA is walking around rather in turmoil, or confused. Yet, I will always assume the agents at the border the police, and other people will harass me, so I must just smile and eat it, it is the reality of the world, no more, no less. People who gravitate towards these jobs like the power, but we need them, so I say thank you to them.
Man, wish we could get our computers to vet.