How I Almost Didn’t Get Into the UK

You shall not pass - Gandolf
you shall not pass gandolf
Except Gandolf wasn't a complete Dick.

Getting into the UK is much more of a pain in the ass than I expected. After landing, I had to wait in queue for around two hours while one (two on occasion) customs agents casually checked everybody’s passports and interviewed us. Abbreviated version:
[quotes]Customs Agent: “So you’re here on holiday?”
Me: “Yeah”
CA: “For how long?”
Me: “I don’t know, a month or two, maybe more maybe less” (yeah I know, first mistake, I was tired)
CA: “You don’t know…so you don’t have a return ticket?”
Me: “No”
CA: “So explain what exactly you’re doing here then.”
Me: “Visiting. Seeing things, meeting people.”
CA: “But you don’t know when you’re leaving.”
Me: “No. I’m backpacking, it’s open-ended.”
CA: “Do you know anyone here?”
Me: “Not yet”
CA: “What are your plans?”
Me: “I don’t really have any plans, I don’t like plans.”
CA: “Why the UK?”
Me: “Because I haven’t been here yet and it’s purty”
CA: “I don’t understand the concept of going to a country without any plans and not knowing how long you’re going to be there. Do a lot of Americans do this?”
Me: “It’s not the norm.”
CA: “I see you’ve done your time in the Schengen countries, why would you leave the UK?”
Me: “I’ve done less than two months in the Schengen countries, and I want to see more of them.”
CA: “I have no reason to believe you’re going to leave the UK, and since you don’t have a return ticket or specific plans to leave, I’m not sure we can let you in.”
Me: “Don’t know what you want me to say. I’ll leave…promise.”[/quotes]
…Lengthy explanation of the “nature of my business” and that I could make money while I’m here and leave my plans open-ended.
[quotes]CA: “So you make your living by blogging…”
Me: “Yeah”
CA: (gives me the “I don’t believe you” face) “Sit over there and I’ll call you over when I’m ready.”[/quotes]
Had me sit for five minutes while he talked to his colleague and the enormous line of people waiting stood there annoyed, then waives me over.
[quotes]CA: “I’m going to let you into the UK on a limited visa – you can’t work while you’re here, and you’re limited to six months. You may find that other customs agents aren’t so kind.”[/quotes]
I assume there’s probably a rule against punching a customs agent in the dick, so I refrained.

Lesson: Lie to customs

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