The Brits Hate Me

British Cuisine

The UK border people give me more trouble than any other country.

1) A few years back, using the same passport that I’ve had since 2003, I was yelled at by the passport control woman at London Heathrow. She told me that my passport was damaged and that if I came in next time, they wouldn’t let me in. I never got a similar threat after that, in the UK or elsewhere.

2) September 8, 2010, flying from Bratislava to London Stansted, they check my passport. Before you get to the officers, you’re warned by signs that “tough checks can take longer”. So I thought nothing of the guy grilling me on my job, my plans in the UK, etc.

But it kept going and going. And I began to get slightly nervous that perhaps the guy did see a problem. All of a sudden, he explained to me that he was going to give me a special stamp, one that showed that he didn’t necessarily trust my story, writing on the special stamp a number that was presumably the case file for all the notes that he was taking. (My true story: I’m an English teacher that is traveling for a bit with enough money to be financially secure for the next little while, with no outgoing flight from the UK to maintain flexibility.)

He told me that next time, if I’m doing this sort of a trip, perhaps I should have bank statements showing that I can support myself. Apparently, he didn’t believe the number of Euros I told him I had in my bank account.

By now, I’m over the sting. I’ll be leaving the UK soon. I’m not planning another trip again soon and after being hassled twice coming in, after no hassles elsewhere (including Russia, where everyone I’ve talked to a) wasn’t hassled and b) expected to be hassled), I’m not sure that I’m in any hurry to.


2 Responses to The Brits Hate Me

  1. Alec says:

    You should take Kent’s advice and just print out a fake outgoing ticket. That way you won’t be harassed. With photoshop you could do it very easily. Hell you could make a PDF and show it to them on your computer. I don;t know if that actually works or if you can get in trouble for it.

  2. roniweiss says:

    Never thought I’d have that much trouble. Never felt so close to not getting into a country.

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