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Visa nightmares in US & My Travel Itinerary

a UN representative talks about the awful problems he had gaining entrance into USA.

Interestingly, in my limited travels, I have not had real visa problems. Once, our bus had interminable delays crossing from Macedonia into Albania. But that was because of the political situation. Also, in Ukraine I had to pay a $25 fee for forgetting to get a stamp from my hotel. Fortunately, the Internet makes you more informed about regulations so you don’t get caught offguard (that is, when the information is accurate!–once my Ukrainian travel companion get caught by believing Slovakia’s embassy’s website about not needing visas, only to find out the website was wrong! Oh, brother).

Here’s a new concept: security theatre : security countermeasures that provide the feeling of security while doing little or nothing actually to improve security. Here’s one: require every person entering the US to sign a promise (in English) that they agree not to blow up buildings or mass transit. Gee, that would do a lot of good.

My itinerary for the next two months:

  • March 9-14 Austin for SXSW Interactive
  • March 31-April 1 Dallas/Denton for Tejas Storytelling Festival
  • April 10-12 Boston for guest lecture at Emerson College’s graduate publishing program. I’ll be talking about “Ebooks, Collaboration Tools and the Commercialization of Web Publishing”

This year at SXSW I am consciously not bringing a laptop or geek gadgets. It will be liberating. I’ll try to show up at BarCamp Austin which takes place alongside SXSWI. It looks like they’ll be having some cool Intro to Drupal tutorials.

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