From my home to Doha, it was a 19 hours journey. Stop over 3 hours. From Doha to Atlanta hotel, it was a 17 hours journey.
At Doha Airport to Atlanta.
Total of 39 hours traveling one way to attend a 24 hours workshop by the International Society of Arboriculture. Leaders from all the world chapters would come to attend. This year, they talked about the governance and management tools of non-profit organizations.
At the immigration, it was easy. However, for Singaporeans, we have to apply for an ESTA pass 72 hours before the flight, or else on the Singapore side, we will be rejected. That's why I changed my flight in Singapore
So, the immigration officer asked the standard questions. It was quite easy as I have all the hard-copy documents in a file.
Immigration: hey, you are good to go.
He didn’t stamp on my passport.
Immigration: well, we have the i94 and that’s good.
That i94 is a federal electronic system.
Me: how do I prove that I have entered the USA? For example, my wife would be questioning me about where did I go during these few days?
Ok. He made a physical stamp.
While picking up my luggage in Atlanta, I saw a movie crew taking a shot of the series 'Border Security. It reminds me how difficult it was to answer those questions carefully or else I will be locked up.
After picking up the luggage while exiting, a big black man in plain clothes showed me his police pass and wanted to have my passport. I asked him how do I know if this is a real badge. He said his colleague at the counter can verify.
Police: did you pack the luggage all by yourself?
Me: some only. My wife did some.
Police: Will you be fully responsible for whatever is here?
While he was searching my luggage, he was asking me some technical questions like when are you returning to your country, what are you here for, do you have an email about your conference?
Well, everything cleared, and I'm free to go. While packing up, I asked: can I see your batch again because it doesn’t have any serial number or face ID.
Police: Hey, I got all the stuff to be the police.
He flip up his shirt, showed me those weapons, and walked off.
Cool. That was an experience.