This is my tale about my POE (Port of Entry) into the United States of America:
So after finishing up my business in Denmark it was time to gather my stuff and get on that plane back ‘home’!
I got a one-way ticket with Icelandair for $500 on cheapoair.com which was a pretty good deal at the time. They ran for about the double on other sites.
– I packed two huge suitcases and got a ride to the airport.
At the airport I was the first one in line, but I had a few lbs excess baggage and the lady “kindly” asked me to unpack or pay.
So I went to the side, removed three books from one bag and a sweater from another (seriously, we’re talking 4-5 lbs too much) I thought it would be okay for me to go back to check-in my luggage afterwards, considering I had been waiting 45 minutes before they even opened check-in (actually, I was checked in just needed to drop my bags) but as always the Danes are not very considering despite they all starred at me while I repacked my bags. – In other words, I got a last taste of the danish attitude and had to go back to the end of the line, and wait another hour.
My bags got checked-in and I took my books and sweater with me in as hand-luggage. (Cause who ever weighs your hand luggage at the gate?)
The trip to Iceland was AWEFUL! At take-off I started crying, being overly emotional with the thought of actually leaving my family for .. I don’t know how long. The flight attendant saw me and asked if I was okay. I was. At least for a while.
Normally I have pretty decent buddies to sit next to, but this time I was sitting next to a very tall young man that had his legs irresponsibly spread (why does guys always do that?) and his arms were taking up more space than just the armrests. Need I say, personal space? He would at times look at me and he just moved around a lot. And at one point he fell asleep and his head fell on my shoulder.
The second we landed in Iceland he took his seatbelt off, and when we were at the gate he almost crawled over me to get his bag from the overhead bin. I was so upset that I told him to cool it. Nobody else stood up yet, not even the flight attendant. My bag and jacket was in front of his in the overhead bin, and he started pushing my bag to the side to get his out .. I was getting really annoyed and I told him again: “YOU HAVE TO RELAX!” with a loud voice. I wasn’t being unfair. The dude was acting weird. Besides, I had the aisle seat. That means; I stand up first – I take my stuff … and then you’re free to do the same. Don’t crawl over my legs and don’t violently push my stuff the side, moron! (Edit: Looking back, I’m afraid he might have had some mental problems)
Anyways….. I love Keflavik airport. I did a little ‘looking around’ and got a yogurt and juice. Then about an hour after I was on my way to New York. I had my window seat and a spare seat between me and the guy sitting by the aisle. Made up for the trip to Iceland.
At JFK I feared a huge line at the border/immigration but – almost miraculously – the line was short and I only had to wait 5-10 minutes. Then I feared that the immigration would deny me. Though you have a visa, it’s still immigration that determines whether or not to let you in. And giving the fact that I’ve been traveling on visa waiver a million times I had this idea that now would be the time I got denied – but I didn’t! He asked me what I was going to study, and for how long. And then, he stamped my papers! I’m telling you, RELIEF! – Didn’t have to wait for my bags either, they came out right after each other after 2 minutes. And I got a cab after only waiting a few minutes. So despite the cruel wait in Copenhagen, having to unpack and the annoying dude next to me from Copenhagen to Iceland – the last half (and most important) part of my trip was painless and when I arrived at my building the doorman came and helped me with my bags!
At home, beautiful roses awaited me again. My friend is just the sweetest!
So to sum it up;
After 26 times of crossing the Atlantic the 27th time proved to have some of the worst and the best experiences of traveling. I experienced the worst seating companion of all times – and the shortest line at immigration at JFK, and shortest wait for luggage ever! And now, being home with no intention of going back to Denmark for the next 5-6 years I’m finally starting to breath again 😀 … at least until my next blog, where I’ll tell you how it feels like when the study grant you’re entitled to as a danish citizen proves to be hard to get approved and it leaves you with the fear of being without income for the first semester of school!