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Hello, racial profiling

:: Tuesday, October 10th, 2006 @ 7:10:47 am

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Dear North Korea,

Will you please stop scaring everyone with nuclear tests? I’m starting to get yanked out of line at airports for questioning and searching.

Your friend, Eric

I don’t think I look like a sketchy guy. The recent North Korea news is the only thing I can think of that would cause the recent change in behavior.

On the other hand, it gave me the opportunity to have a nice pseudo-conversation in broken Spanish with the narcotics agent.

| Guayaquil, Ecuador | link | trackback | Oct 10, 2006 07:10:47
  • http://giles.shaxted.co.uk Giles Shaxted

    You got checked out in Equador. I wouldn’t take it personally. They wer probably scouting you for their friends outside to mug you.

    And as for looking sketchy .. depends.. were you acting stoopid !

    I got yanked out of the Immigration queue in Australia once. Apparently when they ask if you have a criminal record you aren’t supposed to be cheeky and answer ” I didn’t know I needed one !”

  • http://echeng.com echeng

    Giles – as far as I can tell, you’re the very definition of “cheeky”. :)

  • http://www.tonywublog.com Tony

    Hey, I’m not getting yanked out of lines, so clearly you just look suspicious :-)

  • http://echeng.com echeng

    Tony — this was in Ecuador. Although they have a large “Chinese” population, the number of East Asians I saw while I was there was exactly zero. So I clearly stood out. :)

  • http://www.viennateng.com Vienna

    Shoot, I’m taking about 15 flights in the next few months. With an oversize, black keyboard case. This is gonna be fun…

  • http://lchiang0007.blogspot.com/ Lolo

    Talking on racial profile…try to travel with a Cuban passport and with a bag full of scuba equipment. The perfect combination to be stopped for questioning at every possible check-point… In US I always get a SSSS in my boarding passess, which means Super-Suspicious-Stupid-Search.

    By the way, great pics on Galapagos. I was there in August and loved the experience. And yes, lot’s of questioning at the borders

  • http://www.heychristine.com Christine

    Hi Eric,

    These days people get pulled at immigration if you have a one way ticket, or if you made recent changes to your itinerary (which they are somehow able to tell on your ticket codes). Asian males traveling alone doesn’t help you case nor can you control this part, but believe it not, Asian females traveling alone are prime targets as apparently they are high risk.

    Ways to avoid getting pulled at the gate for a spot check — don’t do anything or wear anything that makes you stand out.

    For example, don’t wear all black. Don’t use your computers and gadgets at the gate while waiting for boarding as it may be perceived as suspicious activity, don’t board the plane last (especially in a foreign country or in America’s Deep South where Asians are a true minority), etc.

    Unfortunately racial profiling is especially prevalent the further out you go as security reps are less and less educated and worldly, IMHO at least.

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