Friday, December 12, 2014

Boarder Control: A post script

If you're a regular reader than you'll already know my previous experiences with boarder control (if you haven't you can catch up here

This is the soundtrack for the current blogpost. 

Every time I have to come through UK boarder control it makes me want to come back less. Maybe Jerusalem was builded here on England's green and pleasant land... but bow of burning gold and arrows of desire seem to fall too short and mental fight too exhausting. 

I had just come back from Barcelona... which was an amazing city, and reminded me of the joy of discovering new places and traditions. I was in a good mood. 

I went to the window and hand the woman my passport and landing card. She asked me to move to the left (so I'm standing to the side of the window and only had a partial view of here.) That’s never happened before but maybe I was in the wrong place? I moved.

I thought I was prepared this time. I had my return ticket to California printed, along with the latest bank statements.

She asked the usual questions… where I had been, how long I was staying. But she seemed confused about how long I was staying and how long I had been there. Finally it came out that my recent trip was the problem. She started to interrogate me about my last meeting with boarder control and what I had said to the agent there. 

“Why didn’t you tell her that you were going to Barcelona”

“I hadn’t planned the trip yet.”

“You can't just go and come back when you feel like it.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

“Are you planning on going anywhere else?”

“…no?” (not entirely true… I had been thinking about a few places, but that seemed like it would complicate the issue.)

In the end she stamped my passport telling me “I’ve put the date of your ticket. If you don’t leave on that day you’ll have problems.”

She went back to the computer and didn’t look at me again. I guess she was done with me? I waited a few seconds and then left. She didn’t try to stop me.

Not “Enjoy your stay. Welcome to England.” More like “We don’t want you here and the sooner you go home the better.”

Maybe I was in the wrong… there are so many rules that keeping up on the intricacies is impossible without being an immigration lawyer. Maybe she was just a bully having a bad day. Maybe somewhere half way between the two.

I know I am a generally privileged person… I have never had to deal with discrimination. So it’s a weird sensation, even on such a mild scale, to have my intentions or my right to be somewhere questioned, and to feel like the system is determined to find fault with me no matter how carefully I step. It's not as though I have no where to return to. But I want to be here. I've vowed my eternal love and sacrifice and all those things for no other reward than to be able to live here and be a part of the life and culture that I feel so much a part of.

If they keep protecting this country so militantly from outside intrusion before long there will be very little left to protect.

Is there one, anyone, behind those doors
To whom the Heart can still be explained? 
Is there one, anyone, who still may care? 
Who are these dark archangels? 
Will they be conquered? 
Will they be doomed? 


  1. We love you Rachel you will always be welcome ere in the UK along with your toilet brush.

  2. I hear your frustration, but I will observe that the US is considerably less friendly to UK citizens who travel to the US: they get only 90 days visa free entry as tourists and have to pay a $14 fee to the border control types (good for 2 years) in advance before they travel to the US...

  3. Tight boarder controls make me cross no matter which direction they're going, and hearing some of the stories about people going through to the US I'm truly embarrassed for my country!