Many have asked for details about my return to the US because I have hinted at it being a horrible ordeal and it was… Do you remember me mentioning in my blog about Budapest and arriving and not really having my passport check? Yeah, well apparently I was NEVER on my flight from Frankfurt to Budapest and therefore Hungary has no record of me entering the country, great! I get pulled aside to speak with the police, three of them in fact. They are asking me all sorts of questions about how I got into Budapest, how long I have been there, where I have been, what I have been doing, etc. etc. etc. I then have to have a (best way to describe it) stripe search… basically it was a groping session. I then got to take everything one by one out of my suit case and show it off to the police, everything! I did have my boarding pass for my flight from Frankfurt to Budapest which I think is the only reason they didn’t detain me for days, weeks or even years. The whole time I was trying to not take it personally – I knew it had nothing to do with me personally; it was simply because I was an American and sadly our country has not been all that great to Hungary… there are still a lot of hard feelings and I totally give them that. If I was Hungarian I would hate us too… let me be more correct it’s not so much your standard American people, but the American Government that gets their feathers flying. They have a right to try and protect themselves and while in my heart I know I come in peace… no one else can ever be too sure. If you don’t understand this point of view you might want to educate yourself before you make a stupid comment. I am just saying… while I value many different options I think as Americans we don’t often think what it might feel like to be on the other side of a boarder… to have gone through what other countries have. I am not interested in getting into a huge political debate here – if you know me, you know where I stand on things of this nature and therefore you can take my ideas or just leave them here, end of discussion.
Once I was cleared from this and allowed to proceed to my gate, it was about 5 minutes before my plane was to board and I hear my name over the speaker, great – what now was all I could think. I went to where they told me to go and there was something wrong with my checked bag, so again the police escorted me off to a little room… and again I got to pull everything out and show it off to the police.
I wasn’t allowed to get a boarding pass for my flight from Frankfurt to Portland because according to the crew in Budapest “Frankfurt would have to decide for themselves if they would let me on any flights”… I arrived in Frankfurt about 5 minutes before my flight was to start boarding and after running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get a boarding pass I got stand by… yes that’s right stand by. At this point I was in tears and had been since my stripe search in Budapest (I just felt beyond violated, gross and dirty) the nice lady in Frankfurt ask what was wrong and I was like “I don’t understand why I have to go stand-by I just want to get home after everything that has happened” I had reached my max of what I could deal with in one day. She asked me what happened and I gave her the cliff notes version of what happened in Budapest and she within 5 minutes had me with a seat for the flight. THANK HEAVENS! I had no time to pee or get anything to eat I had to board right then and there. I even got extra leg room which is GREAT on a 10 plus hour flight. Although I did have a really annoying lady next to me who complained about everything under the sun… I went for shock value at one point and asked her if she had been striped searched during her travels when she said no I asked her kindly to keep her opinions to herself… for the rest of the flight she just mumbled under her breath to what I am sure was horrible things about me and frankly I don’t care – I just wanted the rest of my trip to be peaceful and as harmonious as possible.