thoughts on immigration (i.e., entering a country)

While in Europe, I compiled this list of things to keep in mind when entering another country and having to deal with immigration. I’m sure lots of peeps get by and through just fine. Personally, I’ve had mixed results, mostly because I said things that, in retrospect, was not  a good idea. So because of my own ineptitude, I’ve learned a few things and will pass this knowledge on to others, specifically newbie travelers (after the photos):

What climbers do when they see pink spotted sheep near by…they act like tourists!

Birch on Not To Be Taken Away, 6c??, but it’s the start that’s hard… if you don’t jump start it.

Sending Brad Pit at Stanage Plantation.

going for the jug!

 

(Originally written in May.) As a climber traveling for extended stays that require you to be unemployed, it’s important to be given permission to enter the target country and without any suspicion or misconceptions. What immigration officers often look for and is most suspicious about is if you’re going to attempt to remain in their country (aside from the usual terrorist and drug running stuff), at least while visiting most first world countries. Imagine what most any European immigration officer is thinking if an American, without a job wants to remain for an extended period in a welfare state country like, say, france…  So, in order to facilitate the would-be “climbing” traveler, here is a short list of do’s and don’ts when confronting an immigration officer:

1. NEVER say you are unemployed! NEVER!

2. Avoid saying you’re a climber, or going to so and so, this or that place, to climb. Climbing is a term that can elicit unknown responses. some think it’s a dirtbag sport, one where you most likely aren’t employed, while others may actually climb and proceed to have a wonderful short chat with you. in your best interest, just avoid it. (of course if you pull the “I’m a professional climber,” it implies some form of employment)

3. no matter how long or short you’re staying, tell them you are visiting for the weekend, a few days, but basically keep it to a week or less. 2 weeks can elicit the same response as saying you’re a climber. Once, when Jon and I entered canada, we said we’re visiting for two weeks. The sweet lady proceeded to ask about our financial situation, how much we had in the bank, and finally, we were required to get an atm receipt of the amount we had in our account.. WTF? We didn’t think she was very sweet after that.

4. act like a tourist. tell them you’re sight-seeing, and maybe even have a camera visible somewhere on you or in your vehicle. Anything that says: I’M A FUCKING TOURIST!

5. Be nice, look them in the eyes, appear earnest and come off sincere and considerate. And if you don’t know how, let someone else drive or be the point person. If you’re not the point person, look sincere, and don’t stare away. look inquisitive… be a fucking tourist, where everything and anything is so fucking interesting.

6. don’t ramble on…it makes you look stoned. even if you are, just don’t act like it. be concise and clear, don’t appear as if you don’t have the answers by stuttering with, uhhh, ummm, well….

7. know where you stay, and who you know. don’t forget if you’re visiting a friend, who that person is, their occupation, and anything else you should know if he/she’s a good friend. In other words, have the answers to the tourist lifestyle they will assume you are embarking on. If you are visiting, say London, know what you want to see, or have a clear idea of where you’re staying.

8. Or, don’t worry about it. It’s all an adventure anyways. Wing it and find out what happens.

If you have better advice, please feel free to add to this… and, of course, none of this is serious. It’s important to always tell the immigration officers the truth, so we can all support this noble fight against terrorism and illicit narcotrafficking.

Here’s a parting shot from Font from an undisclosed location:

Thierry Plaud is working one of the secret problems in the forest. This super cool line starts by his feet and ends up and left past his hands where the crux is, either 7c+ or 8a, can’t remember.

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~ by r. mulligan on 2012/09/10.

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