only 27 days in paradise

This year’s trip to Maui started well. I upgraded to Businessclass for the long Swiss Air Flight. For the first time I could visit the Airport Lounge. Food and all the Drinks you like! As a Barman I mixed some fancy drinks for myself.

Business Class: What a difference to the “wood” class in the back of the plane. I enjoyed every minute of the flight, specially all the legroom I got. In Lounge position I did not touch the front. And for the first time in the air I could really sleep. The chair folds down to a 2meter bed.

Our flight arrived one hour earlier then expected at Los Angeles and arriving at custom there were no lines. I showed my passeport and answered the questions. What u do? How long u stay? … Then my movie stopped.

I got arrested and spend nearly 6 hrs in a special room. After one hrs a custon officer told me that 3 years ago I stayed one day too long in the United States and for this reason the custom bureau is cancelling my visa and  I have to go back to Switzerland.

No problem 2 years ago, no problem last winter. 3 years ago!

Then they told me to sit down again and wait. While waiting I watched all the other persons coming in to this room and leaving again. I stayed. Another hour passed and the custom officer asked me more questions. “Where do you stayed in 2009-2010-2011?”, “What is your salary in Switzerland?”, “Why can you leave your job for 6month?”, “Where do you live in Switzerland?” and many more like this…

Two officers asked me to follow them to another room where my fingerprints and pictures were taken. I have seen it many times in movies. This time it was “live”.

After 5 hrs the officer came back and gave me 2 solutions:

No. one: sign a paper and agree that I stayed one day too long 3 years ago and I can ask the Embassy in Switzerland to give me a new visa.

No. two: not sign and go straight back! And not coming back for 5 years!

I signed and waited another hrs not knowing whats gonna happen next. Then the officer came again and told me that I can visit the United States for 30 days.

Of course I lost my bag, since I was not able to pick it up. The officer told me to go upstairs, but it was too late, nobody around anymore at 11 pm.

I missed a good dinner at the Restaurant Edelweiss, but tryed to enjoy the real american food: Burger King.

Early next morning I flew to Maui without my luggage. I guess I was the only not happy person on that flight. It was quite strange coming back to Maui and not smiling all the time.

My first 3 days I go on the water only short times. My head was not free for anything. Also I had to change my flights (cost me 350$), pay registration for my car, do safety check and renew car insurance.

Now I look forward and hope for the best. I try to enjoy my 20 upcoming days in paradise.


4 Responses to “only 27 days in paradise”

  • F-Word.

    They call this “secondary inspection”. Been there.
    I was lucky though and they only questioned me for one hour if I ever was arrested in San Francisco and why I did NOT spend my time in the US while NOT beeing a legal resident there (???!).

    Try to enjoy the (temprarily) shortend version of your trip for now and keep us posted on what’s happening next.


  • Ely:

    So sorry to hear about this, Petsch! I was looking forward to seeing you in February! Hopefully everything will work its way out and you’ll be able to stay a full 3-6 months next year!
    All the best,

  • Sheena:

    Sorry to hear what happens. Shit happened. Beach Kanaha will feel boring whiteout seeing you in the water at 11 am. Enjoy life where ever you are, and try to come back soon.

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