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Thread: Crazy Italians?

  1. #1
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    Default Crazy Italians?

    On a European trip, Amsterdam-Venice-Florence. Coming out we flew Seattle-Chicago-London-Amsterdam.

    We had to go through passport control entering the Netherlands.

    However, when we flew Amsterdam -Milan, on EasyJet, nothing. Milan Malpensa seemed half deserted on a Sunday afternoon. No police anywhere, no customs, no nothing. We waltzed into Italy like we owned the place, I was completely surprised.

    Is it because we flew in from a fellow EU country? So what, still amazed.

    I am expecting the usual surly BS from US customs when we return.
    Gerard>
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Travel within the EU remains a wonder.

    My returns to the US from Europe have been easy as pie.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    ^ Mine have not, nor even driving back from Canada, jeesh. I guess I just look shifty or something. :-)
    Gerard>
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Lol. I do miss getting passport stamps when I travel inside Europe. I just have entry and exit stamps - Schipol, Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle.

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Ross View Post
    My returns to the US from Europe have been easy as pie.
    Well, at least they don't treat you like a criminal (I hope) When we evil foreigners arrive (having applied for permission in advance from the embassy and disclosing our credit card details to the US government) we are photographed, fingerprinted, required to specify all the addresses at which the SWAT teams can find us if necessary, and barked at by the grim faced guards - otherwise known as immigration officers - if we step a millimetre out of line. It's not a pleasant experience. But at least we have the jolly "welcome to the USA" posters to keep us amused while we wait...and wait....

    It was more fun when we just had to fill out the "green form" as the plane approached American airspace. It had all sorts of questions like "do you intend to commit crime in the USA?" It was sooooo tempting to write "sole purpose of visit". But of course, with the fiendish cunning at which we foreign devils are so practiced, I think it's quite possible that those with such intentions may actually have concealed them when filling in the forms.
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    The lack of passport checks is because the countries you visited are in the Schengen Area.
    It is complicated as not all EU countries are members and some non-EU countries are members.
    The UK and Republic of Ireland are opted out of the Schengen Area.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    I fly within Europe a lot, always have to have passport scanned, am stripped of my shoes, belt, all my posessions laid bare and X-ray'd, body patted, several questions about my carry on luggage. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they're not watching and listening to you.

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    I fly within Europe a lot, always have to have passport scanned, am stripped of my shoes, belt, all my posessions laid bare and X-ray'd, body patted, several questions about my carry on luggage. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they're not watching and listening to you.
    I think most of that is just pretty standard wherever you fly now, sadly. Hard to tell exactly which X ray equipment is in use, but I hope they enjoy the alluring sight of my nude outline, if it's that sort. The cache of titanium I keep in my right hip doesn't seem to worry them. (My husband used to say he was going to flog me to a scrap metal merchant when I handed in my lunch pail)

    The body patting has not happened to me since I used to fly in and out of Belfast when the "troubles" were in full swing. As far as I could see, the airport employed a group of highly trained gorillas who were known as "female staff" to do the patting. I always liked Belfast, though, despite all.
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    I fly within Europe a lot, always have to have passport scanned, am stripped of my shoes, belt, all my posessions laid bare and X-ray'd, body patted, several questions about my carry on luggage. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they're not watching and listening to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by downthecreek View Post
    I think most of that is just pretty standard wherever you fly now, sadly. Hard to tell exactly which X ray equipment is in use, but I hope they enjoy the alluring sight of my nude outline, if it's that sort. The cache of titanium I keep in my right hip doesn't seem to worry them. (My husband used to say he was going to flog me to a scrap metal merchant when I handed in my lunch pail)

    The body patting has not happened to me since I used to fly in and out of Belfast when the "troubles" were in full swing. As far as I could see, the airport employed a group of highly trained gorillas who were known as "female staff" to do the patting. I always liked Belfast, though, despite all.
    Even private airlines like BAE Systems own airline exclusively flying BAE Systems staff around the UK started doing that after 9/11 at the insistence of our US cousins.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Even private airlines like BAE Systems own airline exclusively flying BAE Systems staff around the UK started doing that after 9/11 at the insistence of our US cousins.
    Smaug keeps using the phrase "Vassal State".... Curiously with respect to our relationship with Europe.
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they're not watching and listening to you.
    so stop acting suspicious and muttering stuff under your breath in the queue. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by downthecreek View Post
    Well, at least they don't treat you like a criminal (I hope) When we evil foreigners arrive (having applied for permission in advance from the embassy and disclosing our credit card details to the US government) we are photographed, fingerprinted, required to specify all the addresses at which the SWAT teams can find us if necessary, and barked at by the grim faced guards - otherwise known as immigration officers - if we step a millimetre out of line. It's not a pleasant experience. But at least we have the jolly "welcome to the USA" posters to keep us amused while we wait...and wait....

    It was more fun when we just had to fill out the "green form" as the plane approached American airspace. It had all sorts of questions like "do you intend to commit crime in the USA?" It was sooooo tempting to write "sole purpose of visit". But of course, with the fiendish cunning at which we foreign devils are so practiced, I think it's quite possible that those with such intentions may actually have concealed them when filling in the forms.
    Did it really ask that? Astounding. Of course any self-respecting criminal would brag in advance about what he/she would do. Bureaucrats are somethin', eh?

    I do like your dreamed about answer though.
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Did it really ask that? Astounding. Of course any self-respecting criminal would brag in advance about what he/she would do. Bureaucrats are somethin', eh?

    I do like your dreamed about answer though.
    Something along those lines. Always made me laugh.

    Which bit do you think is dreamed about? What I have described is precisely what happens when I come a-visiting - has been for some years. SWAT teams are not actually specified, I must admit, but they do require to know exactly where you will be staying.
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Crossing the Channel back and forth between the UK and France, we certainly got more than the once-over.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    I was told today that after BREXIT the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will come back up. Shame.

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    When you fly to the US through Dublin, you go through customs and immigration right there. It's still Americans, but I'm guessing a bit of the Irish mellowness has rubbed off on them.

    In 2010 I got the chance to sail a boat (Swan 46) from Corfu in Greece, through the Corinth Canal, to Marmaris in Turkey, stopping along te way. My "green card" would expire while I was in Europe. I'd applied for a replacement but the authorities are very slow. I thought getting back in the US would be hard, but it was such a great trip, I thought I was prepared to jump through hoops.

    I did have the foresight to photocopy my green card renewal application. When I got back to Boston, I w3as taken to the "special" room. The officer looked work weary, and he asked if I had a copy of my application. His spirits lifted a little when I pulled it out of my backpack, he flicked through it, smiled and said "now tell me about your trip". We shot the breeze for about 30 minutes, and I was back in the US.

    Sorry about the thread drift.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Not sure of the details, but a friend, who is Canadian and works in San Francisco, has to leave the US once a year and re-enter.
    He flew to SeaTac and rented a car and crossed into BC. His wife instructed him to buy a particular cheddar cheese in White Rock. He did.
    Re-entered the US and drove back to SeaTac.
    As he stood, reading the departure board, less than 5 minutes after entering the airport, a large gentleman tapped him on the shoulder and flashed a badge. He was taken to a corner and asked to open his small daypack. They checked his passport, listened to his story, and carefully examined the sealed package of cheese. They let him go.
    He is convinced that some hidden device detected the mass of the cheese, which is probably similar to plastique explosive.
    Or, did he just look shady?
    Have a Holly Jolly Christmas🎅

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Didn't your friend know it's illegal to smuggle Kurds into the country?

    Sorry, Ralphie.

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Did it really ask that? Astounding. Of course any self-respecting criminal would brag in advance about what he/she would do. Bureaucrats are somethin', eh?

    I do like your dreamed about answer though.
    Actually, when I did some government work I found out that arguably there's a very good reason to ask such questions. It can be harder to pin a crime on someone than it is to prove to the relevant standard that they lied on a form. You can sometimes end up saying effectively "well, you weazeled out of getting chucked into the slammer on that charge of trying to kidnap your kids from your ex-wife, but there's enough evidence that you lied when you filled in your immigration form so you're going to be deported and never allowed back in anyway".

    Bureaucrats aren't always dumb.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by downthecreek View Post
    Something along those lines. Always made me laugh.

    Which bit do you think is dreamed about? What I have described is precisely what happens when I come a-visiting - has been for some years. SWAT teams are not actually specified, I must admit, but they do require to know exactly where you will be staying.
    The "sole purpose of visit" response.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    Actually, when I did some government work I found out that arguably there's a very good reason to ask such questions. It can be harder to pin a crime on someone than it is to prove to the relevant standard that they lied on a form. You can sometimes end up saying effectively "well, you weazeled out of getting chucked into the slammer on that charge of trying to kidnap your kids from your ex-wife, but there's enough evidence that you lied when you filled in your immigration form so you're going to be deported and never allowed back in anyway".

    Bureaucrats aren't always dumb.
    If the question was precisely "Do you intend to commit . . . " you can honestly answer "No". What you might be provoked into doing 6 moths down the line id a different matter.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    The "sole purpose of visit" response.
    Ah yes...... Alas, that dream is dead now. Even if I had dared joke with the US Immigration Service then I sure as h**l wouldn't now.

    Same with our Border Force. We sometimes used to get boarded by Customs to check that we hadn't been up to mischief. One of the main boarders was a lady of ample proportions. My heavy, stable old tub curtsied good and proper when she came on board from the launch. She would sit and chat in the cockpit, with a cup of tea and many biscuits, while her young sidekick had a flip through the logbook and whatever was on the chart table.

    Now it's a big, black rib and polite, unsmiling, fit looking, young men in sinister black gear with guns on their hips. No more tea and biscuits.

    Still - the local customs people knew far more about what was going on and who was doing what than the Border Force lads.
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    I remember when flying was a pleasure. They knew my name at check in, whisked me through customs asking me if I had anything to declare... "No? I thought so, enjoy your flight Sir! ", complimentary drinks onboard, followed by cigars.

    These days one must be a passive Buddist not to arouse the airport Nazecurity, one wrong move and out come the machine guns, as happened to me when I forgot I had an Opinel in my bag. Actually it wasn't my fault as I was herded through the wrong channel. There's no joy anymore in flying, only irritation, disrespect suspicion and crushing authoritarianism to which one must comply, prostrate, or face the wrath of those 'in control'. They must have loved the uplift in funding and jobs since 9/11. Nowadays I dread flying. Can't bear it.

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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I was told today that after BREXIT the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will come back up. Shame.
    It continues to be the source of endless contention.

    A new, hard border would be madness. But finding an answer that doesn't inflame and infuriate one faction or another so far eludes the beleaguered Maybot, who has to get it through parliament. After losing her overall majority in a disastrously ill advised General Election (intended to secure her position) she sold her soul to the NI Unionists in order to stay in office. Now they are (predictably) wanting their pound of flesh. No compromise! No special arrangement of any sort for NI! Never mind the fact that common membership of the EU has been such an influence in "peace process" and Irish life and businesses along the border are so completely integrated. It would have been hard enough without them - the rampant Brexiteers have seen to that. (And even their King - the Smaug openly admits that any economic benefits from this madness won't be seen for 50 years...... )

    The Unionists are an intransigent bunch. When a majority of the people of NI vote for a united Ireland (As I believe they will, eventually - may that day be not too long delayed) will the Republic want them? None of the citizens of the Republic I know think so (and I know quite a few)
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    re "sole purpose of visit", it has been attributed to several people including Oscar Wilde, Peter Ustinov, Michael Foot, W S Gilbert, and Gilbert Harding.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcodger View Post
    re "sole purpose of visit", it has been attributed to several people including Oscar Wilde, Peter Ustinov, Michael Foot, W S Gilbert, and Gilbert Harding.
    As well as being a quotation that afforded hours (well, minutes) of fun for me and various members of my family on US bound jumbos
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Crazy Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    If the question was precisely "Do you intend to commit . . . " you can honestly answer "No". What you might be provoked into doing 6 moths down the line id a different matter.
    Quite right. After all, my mother, Scottish to her fingertips, was the very soul of law abiding sweetness and light. But that didn't deter her from plotting in great detail the assassination of Alex Salmond at the time of the Scottish referendum. This plot was hatched with my help over quite a few weeks.

    She was aged 99 at the time and sternly opposed to independence.
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

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