Everytime I travel outside the US I'm appreciative of the new perspective on my home country. I heard a lot of anti-Bush commentary from folks in New Zealand. Mostly baffled, like "how could such an idiot have been reelected"? And some wry amusement, like the NZ Herald publishing ridiculous photos from We're Not Sorry. I was surprised to hear Bush criticism from hosts at small B&Bs; weren't they risking offending their American guests? Maybe they figured that of the 20% of Americans who hold passports, the large majority didn't vote Bush.

The other thing I've learned the past few years of travelling is the US no longer welcomes visitors. I already mentioned the extra security measures for US bound flights. There's also the extra rules for "congregating near toilets" on flights, and the immigration forms which you have to fill out perfectly in pen or else get a replacement, and our new fingerprinting of visitors. Welcome! I met one British couple who flew from England to NZ the long way, east, just so they didn't have to pass through LAX and US immigration. Can you blame them?

Coincidentally, today's NYT has two excellent op/ed pieces on the US turning its back on foreigners: one talking about the drop in foreign students, the other a very dismaying story about getting a US visa in Nigeria.

  2004-11-29 16:37 Z