What’s the weirdest question you’ve been asked when crossing an international border?

Ref. Two Immigration officers share the top spot for me. A Zapata-lookalike in Honolulu airport. Holding my passport and the (wrong, which I didn't know) immigration form he asked What is this? (Although it was more like What iz zees?) Right. That's a story for another post. Soon. Gimpo airport in Seoul, back in the … Continue reading What’s the weirdest question you’ve been asked when crossing an international border?

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What happens to imports that get caught while smuggling?

[Answer Request] [Not surprisingly this 2 month-old question still has zero answer] There's the law, the practice and the reality. And it will depend on the country, and, often, the region. In the wines and spirits business, we have this joke about Customs people being the same all over the world -- broken bottles tend … Continue reading What happens to imports that get caught while smuggling?

What happens to your booked international ticket if you are denied a visa by the country and hence you are unable to make the trip?

Ref. This question isn't as dumb as it sounds. It is something that can happen, especially to people from developing countries: often, to get a visa, you need plane and hotel reservations. So it's a catch-22. It even happens to people from western countries: like almost everybody else, every time I want to go to … Continue reading What happens to your booked international ticket if you are denied a visa by the country and hence you are unable to make the trip?

Why have Cathay Pacific’s standards slipped so much?

[Answer Request]. This is my first answer that will not be published on Quora – the first answer after I started declining answers on Quora. I waited until two factors combined: An interesting (to me at least) question. Someone I had had [positive] interactions with on Quora. Derek Schatz fits the bill nicely. So, as usual … Continue reading Why have Cathay Pacific’s standards slipped so much?

Where are the best places to have a long, 18 to 24 hour layover in Asia?

Usually, places that are good for a long layover: - Are culturally interesting or have at least 1 very interesting site. - Make it easy and quick traveling between the airport and the city/site. - Have no/easy visa requirements/fees (I'm American). Ref. 1/ Hong Kong As long as you can enter the city (a few … Continue reading Where are the best places to have a long, 18 to 24 hour layover in Asia?

Fun with CJKV

What are the similarities between Korean and Chinese? What are examples of words in Southern Chinese dialects (languages) that sound similar to their Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese cognates? Are there terms in Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese that many native speakers believe to be taken from Chinese but in fact are not? Is there a Korean … Continue reading Fun with CJKV