What should you definitely not do when you visit the United States?

Indeed, just as Suzanne’s answer indicates, be very serious in the side of customs at the US border.

Years ago, a good friend of mine experienced that.Say he’s called Klaas. He was not so long ago emigrated to Canada with wife and children and did not have Canadian nationality, so he had to, from the car, answer the normal questions at the ticket office at the border crossing in Niagara Falls.

He had already made the trip several times and now felt quite easy in this, although he did think that the Americans could be quite a bit friendlier and not so strongly show the attitude of “America for the Americans”, and that it is a privilege to Merika to be let in.

This time the official was a bit trickier with his questions and Klaas was a bit irritated.He thought to alleviate the situation a bit and to get the guy up a bit, with a funny comment on the question.

Totally wrong.Had to park his car and enter the office, with his wife and daughter. After a long wait they were much stricter. All took a few hours. Without other demonstrable offences, his car was confiscated. After months, he finally got permission to retrieve it again, for a fee of about $1500.00 for storage costs. After that, every time he passed the border, it was made difficult for him. Only after he changed his license plate, it went back to normal.

If a policeman or customs officer puts you in a question, don’t try to “break the ice”.They are really totally not amused, and see this correctly as suspicious. I’ve experienced it a couple of times (myself I’m not that funny, but my partner though) and we just came away with it when they had gone through that we were Europeans.

I often hear that from that joke.

My only experience is totally opposed.Fifteen years ago, on a Saturday, together with a friend, I was busy placing hardwood frames. From one of the frames had to be picked up at the top a few millimeters, so I called the help of the electric block slicer.

After I had a total of four millimeters geblokschaafd, I took the block slicer in the other hand to put it on the ground.I only forgot that the thing, after I had released the button, was just turning it off, and that took me a few millimeters from the top of my thumb.

After disinfecting and applying the necessary bandage mesh it was adequately repaired.

A day later we flew to the USA for my work.At the sussenlanding in Chicago, I was faced with a lady at immigration, who did not make the impression that she had fun in her work.
When she told me that she needed a fingerprint man my right finger and thumb, I said quite impulsively “from my right hand thumb?Oh boy… I wish us Luck “, and showed her my right thumb, which was entirely in the context.

Her reaction?

She shot in laughter!Then she asked how that happened, and after I told her, she decided that we had to do it with the left thumb.

The rest of the procedure went smoothly and in excellent rapport.

A colleague, a bit of an arrogant type, who had a few spots behind me, tried to smuggle a Cuban cigar (there was an embargo at the time).They had them in the Smiezen, and we have not seen them for two hours.

In most respects, I find the Netherlands a more pleasant country than the US, but here I make some exceptions.You should not put it in your head to bark, scoff or threaten an agent. Let alone hinder or even molest ambulance personnel. I would like it to be here too.

I regularly visit my family and friends in the US and every time I hope to come across a friendly douanier again.Often they are stuurs, because many people come in with excuses.

However, my experience with the border guards is not very bad.Of course I always stay neat, “Yes Sir/Ma’am”. And I don’t make strange jokes that are stupid anyway, such as references to bombs and mafia. Realize that these people are aware of the fact that the terrorists who flew into the World Trade Center in NY were already IN the national boundaries when they did. No one wants to feel the responsibility of failing to prevent 3000 deaths.

My most annoying experience was at the security check of TSA.They actually have very little authority and that bit they do have often take them very seriously.

I had a sweater with a zipper in the front.Below that I didn’t have much to do. But I was commanded to do my “coat”. I indicated that it was not a jacket but a jumper that closed from the front. Then it was offered something more serious. I was ordered to do my coat. I did that then. The ladies behind the gates found it so funny that I had to be scarce dressed by the machine and I could do very little about it. I felt looked at and treated with little respect.

So I recommend you take into account what you attract for your flight.

As a mother, I can also recommend that you bring a stroller that is not too large.We have tried everything but every time our stroller comes later or not at the place where you expect it. Even if you are flying business class. International flights are the most annoying in this. On local flights they often arrive at the gate, however because it is not sure you can never go out.

Also, be on time with flights if you are traveling with a baby or toddler.The FAA wants an agent at the check-in confirmed that the child is there and is traveling with the parent/guardian. This does not allow you to check in electronically. Especially when we had a connection at LAX this was a problem. You must wait until the gate is open before you are checked in. My wife was very nervous, who loves certainty.

Have lived here for almost 10 years now, so think I can answer this.Most answers go about things you might be barking for by an agent or getting a fine. Or things most people can think of that shouldn’t be.

However, there is something that is still relatively normal in the Netherlands, especially when I still lived there, but what you have here in the US your reputation, job etc.May cost even if it is strictly not illegal:

If blank person make your face dark, e.g. play Black Piet.

In the Netherlands, it has also become increasingly controversial in recent times, but in the US it is extreme.Here, the so-called blackface has a long and painful history of slavery and racism.Even photos from decades ago of e.g. politicians in blackface have their careers ends.

For similar reasons, it is also strongly recommended to use the literal English translation of the word negro in public.Depending on the interlocutor, this can be very bad for you.

Ignore school buses.If the school bus stops and gives off its signals, you should stop.Also if you drive on the other side of a wide road.

NEVER leave a policeman in your private residence/hotel room without a “warrant.” Police in the U.S. search for anything that is minimal illegal and arrest you immediately.The United States is a real police state compared to the rest of the Western world.

In NY, it was not illegal to have a joint in your pocket, police went around and especially stopped African Americans and instructed them to empty their pockets.The joint is now visible -was immediately arrested for illegal marijuana in public. Police in the US can’t really trust you.

What you never do is to pretend to be an Islamic terrorist.

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