Bike-ride to Australia-and-beyond Tuesday, May-15th-2012. Auckland to San Francisco. New Zealand to the United States of America. In San Francisco. Groundhog day! I arrived in SanFransico half an hour before I left Australia! Very strange, but I’m now in country number nineteen.
First impressions of America, the customs officers at the airport weren’t friendly! No sooner had I stepped off the plane. Then customs were shouting and yelling at everybody to show their passport, and they certainly weren’t polite about it! And that’s before they knew about me not having an onward flight, which I was supposed to have!
After queuing for nearly an hour to get to the immigration desk, I was then refused entry and had to go for an interview, which involved more hanging around. Eventually, I was taken into this small room and interrogated. I mean interviewed. The customs officer asked me where I was going and if I had enough money to cover my stay in America. He then gave me a lecture about not getting an outbound flight before coming to America. And that he really shouldn’t be letting me into the country. But on this occasion, he would!
At The Hotel
I got a taxi from the airport to my hotel, which was about fifteen miles away near Union Square. A lovely old fashioned hotel over seven floors, and I was right at the top. My first job to keep myself busy and awake was to reassemble my bike. And I had the bike fully assembled in less than an hour. I’m getting good at that now.
After getting my bike back together, I went out for a walk to try and get my bearings. I only had a short walk before returning to the hotel for something to eat and drink. As I was eating my supper, I could feel myself nodding off. I hadn’t slept on the plane, and I think it was starting to catch up with me. Luckily I soon found some people to bore with my story, first an Aussie from Perth who was here on business. Then an American lady from Los Angeles who was here with her mother.
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