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Thread: Another border crossing.....

  1. #1
    Senior Member gimmethesimplelife's Avatar
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    Another border crossing.....

    I have been picking up shifts lately at the Convention Center - I got lucky and a new client has been taking advantage of off season rates so I've had some unexpected work and have been taking every shift I can. So I'm finally getting around to posting this.......the morning of August 5th I crossed the US/Mexico border once again at Nogales on my way back into the US. This experience was not scary but very strange.....the Customs Officer dispensed with the usual questions and started grilling me about San Diego, a place I've only been to once in my life. And that was only to fly into, and then take a bus downtown to catch a trolley to the border to cross the border at Tijuana to catch a cab to the airport there for a dirt cheap ticket to Guadalajara. I told the Customs Officer all this and said that I never saw the nicer parts of town, only the part going south from downtown to the border on the trolley. Got a strange look and a dismissive hand gesture and I turned around and crossed.

    So, no problem, really. I just am wondering why was I grilled about San Diego? I doubt this Officer was intending to just socially chat......Call me cynical but there had to be a reason. Regardless, no visit to secondary and no weapons drawn on me....for an American border crossing these days that scores a 10 in my book so I want to make it clear that I'm not complaining.....I'm really just baffled. Whatever. Rob

  2. #2
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    He didn't care what the answers were. He was likely simply observing your body language and the manner of your response.

    It's a standard interviewing technique. It's one of the ways they sort out the baddies.

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    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I assume they still teach Kinesic Interview and Interrogation techniques, look it up....some interesting reading. I suspect he didn't like the cut of your jib or maybe he did?

  4. #4
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    I assume they still teach Kinesic Interview and Interrogation techniques, ...
    They do. The Israelis have raised it to a high and subtle art - I have a friend who's involved in the screening methods they use at Ben Gurion airport, and it's interesting stuff. A few years after he showed me some of the ideas, I went through screening at a US airport where the fellow interviewing/searching me had clearly been trained in the same methods. (One of the sneaky bits the screener did was, while he had hands-on-my-body, asking me a few questions, seemingly innocuously - he was more interested in my physical responses to the questions than the words coming out of my mouth.)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    They do. The Israelis have raised it to a high and subtle art - I have a friend who's involved in the screening methods they use at Ben Gurion airport, and it's interesting stuff. A few years after he showed me some of the ideas, I went through screening at a US airport where the fellow interviewing/searching me had clearly been trained in the same methods. (One of the sneaky bits the screener did was, while he had hands-on-my-body, asking me a few questions, seemingly innocuously - he was more interested in my physical responses to the questions than the words coming out of my mouth.)

    Dude... I hear ya!
    When I went to Israel in May the Israeli security agents put me through the ringer.

    I went up to the first agent in Zurich for my connecting flight. The agent saw I had a blank passport and she immediately went and got another agent, her superior, I guess.

    Then he came over and asked me a bunch of questions. He asked me:
    -Why is your passport blank?
    -Where is your old passport?
    -Have you traveled abroad before?
    -Are you Jewish?
    -Who do you know in Israel?
    -What did they give you to take to Israel? (I was like: "Who are they?")
    -Why don't you have any luggage?
    -Are you going to Palestine?
    -Are you going to Jordan?
    -Are you married?
    -Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend?
    -Do you live alone?

    And so on. Then the dude took me into a little tiny room -- just me and him -- and he interrogated me further, with more intensity. He rubbed some device all over me and down my sleeves and up my pants. He went through my entire backpack item by item -- even my underwear! Then he rubbed that device all over my bag and my stuff. He put my bag and stuff into a metal detector and x-ray machine.

    Finally he said: "We are going to confiscate your pack until your flight. You can come get it from me five minutes before boarding. And when you board, go through the first class line so we can watch you. Also, you need to sit in this little area right by the gate for the next four hours until the flight starts boarding. And no matter what DO NOT take anything from anyone!"

    I was on 30 hours of no sleep. I went along with all this.

    Then about ten minutes later, while I was waiting by the gate without my pack the agent walks up to me and holds his hand out. He says: "This is my gift to you."

    I was like: "What?"

    "This is my gift to you."

    I reached out and he handed me a little plug converter for the iPhone 4 I borrowed for the trip from my BIL. The converter was for plugging into the sockets in Israel; they are different than the US.

    I asked: "Can I take this? You said not to take anything from anyone."

    He grinned and said: "It is my gift to you."

    So I took it, then I waited the 3.5 hours. I got my bag back five minutes before boarding. I went through the first class line. They watched me. Then I got on the flight and flew to Israel.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  6. #6
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    UL: well that was an awful experience. Good thing I have no desire to travel there.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    UL: well that was an awful experience. Good thing I have no desire to travel there.
    Israel is amazing! While I am not some huge world traveler, but I have been around a bit. And Tel Aviv is my favorite place! Amazing beaches, delicious foods (all in a pita!), friendly people, beautiful deserts, seas, and historical sites all through Israel. I would move there tomorrow if I were a Jew!

    Anyway, here is the rest of the story.

    After a few days in Tel Aviv I went to their little domestic flights airport in Tel Aviv to take a flight to Eilat where I could walk across the border into Jordan.

    When I got to the airport the security agents took my backpack and all my electronics.

    Then about ten minutes later they came out and started asking me questions:
    "Where did you stay in Tel Aviv?"

    "I stayed about a ten minute walk from here in an Air BnB."

    "Who did you stay with?"

    "An Air BnB host."

    "What was his name?"

    "His name is Eli."

    "How do you know him?"

    "I don't."

    "Were you having sex with him?"

    "Uh... no! I am straight as an arrow."

    Then I started thinking: Why would they ask that?

    Because the Air BnB host was an older gay man!

    That little converter had a tracking device in it!

    When I talked to some locals on trips and excursions about my experience getting interrogated and whatnot as soon as I told them about the little converter they said: "That was a tracking device!"

    So yeah. They tracked me while I was in Israel. Why?
    They profiled me.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    UL, that was very interesting, their tracking amd interrigation of you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Wow.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  10. #10
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    The last time I flew the TSA agent was talking very rudely to me although I was nice to her. I had my 5lb dog in a sling like I always do when we travel so I have my hands free. Cassie is an excellent traveler and never makes a peep. WEll she started growling up a storm and I said to the lady not wanting to piss her off more that Cassie had a lot of pain since she was old (true but she is on meds). The lady looked at me and said "No she did not like the way I was talking to you" and then she got nicer.

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