The first thing that caught my attention arriving in the US of A was that people were still speaking Spanish. Are we in the States yet? The sign says Houston, but everything is still in Spanish. People chatting, signs and announcements were all in Spanish as well as English. I had no idea, but according to Wiki, USA has more Spanish speakers than Spain. It was actually quite nice to be eased back into an English speaking environment after our 4 months or so in South America.

So there we were in Houston, in the Immigration queue, taking in the American-ness of it all. People chewing gum with their mouths open, people wearing baseball caps, fat people and black ladies who actually talk like Laverne from Scrubs. We got to the front of the queue and I got a big American welcome. “err, we got a lookout here”, “What’s a lookout?”, he doesn’t stamp my passport, “please sir could you stand over there and wait a moment.”
Sophie, who had a can of mace confiscated at the security station in Lima, gets through no problem.

I stand waiting for 10 minutes or so before I guy comes out and escorts me into one of the holding rooms where I wait another 20mins or so. I knew I should have had a shave. Finally I’m summoned into one of the offices for the 20 questions.
“Where do you live?”
“What do you do in Australia?”
“What were you doing in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru?”
“How did you afford to travel for so long?”
Then my favourite, “So, what military training have you had?”,
“Umm… I shot a kangeroo once…”

Later on Soph is dragged in with our bags. “Do you have any illegal substances in those bags?”,
“Umm… There is a small chance that we’ve left some Coca leaves in there, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t.”
“Could you show me where these Coca leaves might be.”
I dig into my bag and luckily there are no coca leaves. He seems happy. We are now free to go. Soph plays the guy a quick ditty on her Charango before we hurry off to try and make our connection to Las Vegas.