When I touched down at the Los Angeles Airport, I was quickly whisked off by the Custom Officer shortly after he stamped my passport.
Custom Officer A: Sir, please follow the yellow line and keep walking.
So I walk along the yellow line, trying to keep walking straight, lest they try to test if I am drunk or on drugs. =p
I was asked to fill in a form, and after a long wait, was interviewed by another officer.
Custom Officer B: What is your purpose here?
Me: On a business trip.
Custom Officer B: Which company did you work for?
Me: Oh I work for XXXX (which I presume was a well-known US company).
Custom Officer B: What?
Custom Officer B: What company is that?
Me: Its a US MNC.
Custom Officer B: MNC?
Me: Multi-National Company.
Custom Officer B: M-O-U-T-Y?
Custom Officer B: What does Multi do?
Me: Oh, I work for XXXX.
Custom Officer B: (A little pissed off) Then why don't you just say you work for XXXX?
I just smiled. No point wasting time clarifying around here. I just wanted to get it done and over with. My colleague who was on the same plane as me has already started calling me on the phone, after being a little concerned about my "arrest".
I reassured her that everything was ok, before I continue with the interrogation.
Custom Officer B: So what is your office number?
Me: I got to check.
*searches the wallet for a namecard*
Custom Officer B: You mean you don't know your office number?
Me: I never call myself in office.
Custom Officer B: How could you not know your own office number?
Me: I don't memorise them. Thats what namecards are for.
I was getting a little irritated by his attitude.
But I tell myself to maintain my posture.
After all, Limpeh no terrorist.
I have got nothing to hide.
Custom Officer B: When is your father's birthdate?
Me: I do not know.
Custom Officer B: When is your mother's birthdate?
Me: I do not know, but she's one year younger.
Ok, I was not being exactly too helpful.
But I spoke the truth, and had no idea why this information was neccessary.
The interview was overall pretty serious and solemn.
It felt like I was guilty unless proven innocent, not the other way round.
Yes, security is something that we should not take lightly. But come on, loosen up a little. Don't act too snobbish. Or was my skin too yellow for ya?
It is hard to get me pissed.
But this time, he got me.
But to be fair, the subsequent Americans I met were very nice and helpful people.
And for that, I'm thankful.