Monday, September 04, 2006

Back Home

After an absence of about 9 and a half years, I am finally back home.

I went through immigration and had a heart palpitation moment: the officer asked me how long I had been out of the US, and I said since mid-January. He frowned and said that was over 6 months, and I agreed, yes, it indeed was. And he stated that he was actually supposed to take my Greencard from me if I am gone longer than 6 months. I don’t know if this is true or not, I know that before it used to be 11 months or more. So the 6 month thing must be new. But he said, he wouldn’t, but just for future reference, if I were to be gone longer than 6 months in the future, I should apply for a special allowance.

I was a little annoyed by this: if they did change the limit, how are Greencard holders supposed to find out about this? I am sure it is posted somewhere online, but other than checking the Homeland Security site every 2 weeks, I think it is absurd to expect people to know the regulations changes.

This is why I think he was lenient with enforcing the rule. But for a few seconds there I thought I might be entering America on a 6 week tourist visa.

But it is kind of exciting that now that I am back in America, I can start the naturalization progress. In five years I can be an American citizen (you need 5 years of consecutive residency, which I have botched up since living in Europe. Also I left when I was 17, a year before I was able to apply for citizenship).

I mentioned this to my mother last night, and she said, she thinks she will also apply for citizenship. It makes me laugh, because she has been living in the US since the mid-60s. So after about 40 years she wants to become an American. I love it! Maybe we can do it together, and have a joint Naturalization Party!

Other than that, I am very happy to be back home. The temperatures in the Valley are rediculously warm compared to Germany, and I am so glad to be back in the region of pretty predictable warm weather.

On another note, I was reminded that I was also back in the country of somewhat absurdities. As I have jet-lag, I woke up to watch some TV, and saw the most repulsive commercial. Many may correctly guess that it was for a medication. But this was more perverse than the usual, “PeptoBismol, for when you have overindulged” commercial. Nope it as far worse: “Diurex, so you can fit into your skinny jeans!”



Blogger Household6 said...

Welcome Home!

5:38 PM  
Blogger Stacy Kaye said...

Congrats on being home! I can feel your pain with the immigration stuff. EVERY time I crossed the border I held my breath hoping they would let me through until I finally got my landed status in April. Now I smile and always hold up my permanent residence card with glee! There was one time, coming back from Christmas with my family, that they were going to let me cross back into Canada! I was ready to lose it! Luckily Kev stayed calm and kept me calm and we worked it out. Phew! Anyways, welcome home! I have missed your blog!

7:18 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Welcome Home Girl! Iam so glad that you made it home safely. It is a little odd to me what the Immigration Officer said, but don't ask me about these things anyways *haha* When I got my greencard I was told that usually I can't leave the US for another 364 days after entering but since Iam a military wife I have to be on P. orders and then Iam safe. The same thing with the 90 days reapplication after 2 years. Complicated !!*sigh*
Anyhow, like I said, Iam glad that you are home and I hope you'll miss germany not too much! ;)

10:21 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Welcome back! Try not to watch too much television - it will rot your brain. *grin*

4:29 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Welcome home...what a relief. :)

4:34 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You and your mom should have a naturalization party like we gave our dog, with waffles and hamburgers!! Ha :)

Seriously, get in gear, woman. I want you as my countryman.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Welcome home, Girl! Can't wait to hear about your CA adventures now!


5:12 PM  
Blogger ThatBeeGirl said...

A naturalization party -- too cute! You should go for it!
Welcome back!
I guess I didn't realize you weren't a US citizen! I often volunteer at training sessions for folks interviewing for citizenship -- it's awesome.

2:46 AM  
Blogger Bluesman said...

Are you going to change the "About ME" section, now that you are not living in Germany anymore?

Miss you.

10:03 PM  
Blogger MQ said...

Congrats! I didn't know you weren't a citizen?! My husband has been to a couple of those ceremonies and says they are very moving.

3:07 AM  

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