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Trump to scrap visa-waiver program for Aussies?

Discussion in 'United States' started by K_Bird, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    ^^^This^^^. We've been to Canada via Hawaii twice (January both times) and have been struck by the number of people taking skis.

    And while Hawaiian immigration is probably the friendliest US gateway I've been through (beating LA and NY hands down), that still makes it one of the least friendly I've been through on all the planet. The nicest thing about my most recent trip to the US was the immigration official who said "Welcome to Canada, sir" (that was in Victoria BC)
     
  2. Astro666

    Astro666 One of Us

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    Already made plans for Young Astro, (who is living in the US), to meet us in Canada, for our next NH winter trip. With the Doomsday Clock, 30 seconds from where we were, when US and Russia were detonating H bombs in the 50's. I hope we see another NH winter. :(
     
  3. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    This concerns me. Travelling to NYC in September via Dubai.
     
  4. Jellybeans

    Jellybeans not woke enough Ski Pass: Gold

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    I heard Australia has snow!
    :out:ROFL
     
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  5. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    It isn't the visa waiver program which is the subject but the visa interview waiver which the talk relates to and the interviews are in connection with renewing J, O and P class visas: J being for cultural and educational exchanges, O being for temporary work by outstanding individuals and P for performers in entertainment or athletic fields. Presumably they all require interviews to be granted the visa and then for them to be renewed but for visa holders with many layers of security vetting the renewal interview has been waived, but, if the talk is correct, might now be required for even these individuals.

    Either way the visa waiver program and ESTA continue on as before.
     
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  6. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    UAE isn't one of the "problem countries" AFAIK. If you're in transit then even less so as you won't have "visited". Though, as others have said, the 'mericans don't understand transit.

    But this is exactly the kind of thing that will put people off travelling to/through the US, at the US's cost. M10 and I spent a few days in Dubai last April and that's enough to make me think twice about putting any of my business their way if I have an alternative, just in case it causes problems.

    Hell, they probably have me on a watch list just for what I've said in this thread!
     
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  7. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    Disagree about Australia being a minnow in world terms in power and population. In terms of national power (military, diplomatic, industry and economic) we are a middle power (no where near the US or China but a long way in front of say most of the Pacific states(including NZ), all of Africa a fair chunk of Europe and a fair few Asian countries) Need to remember we're member of the G20, have one of the most capable militaries in our region (capability means a lot more than just numbers, which can be misleading in terms of projecting power and conducting joint operaions), we still have a reasonable industrial base, compared to a lot of countries, and in diplomatic terms we've chaired the UNSC along with numerous other international bodies.

    Anyway back on topic, two things to consider:

    1. Currently every nation in the world (except for NZ) needs a visa to enter Australia. In some cases (including the US) it is done using an Electronic Travel Authority (sound familiar...) but even that is a subclass 601 visa. Other countires (EU and Schengen) have eVisitor visas, which apply for online and are free. APEC Business Traveller Cards are effectively visas in everything but name (and that they allow entry to pretty much every APEC member state.

    2. If the current visa waiver scheme is discontinued (which only affects tourist visas anyway), it is always possible that Australians will be issued tourist visas on arrival at port of entry. As already happens in other countries (eg PNG, India, Bahrain, Oman, Timor Leste, UAE, Egypt and quite a few others). The biggest problem will that can't use the automatic passport scanners (which I don't think the US allow non nationals to use any way)

    Will still need an ETSA anyway, as that is just presubmitting certain data required to prove ID.
     
  8. Harper11

    Harper11 Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Esta is pretty pointless anyway
    They know from the airlines who you are and passport info and they interview photograph and finger print you on arrival

    No fly lists are separate to esta
     
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  9. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Not quite the case. Nationals of every country except NZ need a visa to travel to Australia, and carriers are liable for a substantial fine if they bring undocumented arrivals to the border. Even NZ nationals need a visa to enter Australia, it is issued behind the scenes when they arrive.

    Visas, including electronically issued ones such as the ETA, serve multiple purposes and from the traveller's point of view the main one is that if you are not going to be admitted on arrival then you find that out before leaving home and so save yourself and others a lot of inconvenience, hassles and expense in wasted costs not recovered and additional costs levied by the carrier for returning you home earlier than scheduled.
     
  10. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Pretty sure you can use the passport scanner if you've been to US on the same
    Passport in the past
     
  11. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Staying the **** at home. Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most likely outcome IMHO
     
  12. Undies

    Undies Pizza! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I occasionally go to the US for work. The ESTA was stupid enough, but if they make it any harder I'm not going again.

    I won't grovel to get into your shithole of a country.
     
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  13. Budgiesmuggler

    Budgiesmuggler A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I once got taken to the interview room for saying I was there for work (which I was).

    Trying to say to them that I come from Australia and have a work visa for the UK didn't seem to make much sense to them.
     
  14. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just going through lax was enough to put me off after 2 visits.
     
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  15. Johnb007

    Johnb007 Addicted

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    Correct. That is the case for both ESTA and other Visas IF you have been to the USA before on that same passport.
     
  16. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

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    Same here (leaving tomozza), only thing was that i didn't get an email saying approved (yes i checked junk mail), so I was a bit worried, but you can check the status using the 6381 digit reference number they give you.
     
  17. K_Bird

    K_Bird One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Same. I didn't get a confirmation either. When I did the application it said "pending" then there was radio silence from their end. I logged back in a few days later and it said I was approved.
     
  18. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Staying the **** at home. Ski Pass: Gold

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    Their system probably doesn't recognise email addresses outside the US LOL
     
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  19. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Land of the free

    http://www.traveller.com.au/us-visa...ake-got-me-banned-from-the-us-for-life-h0cttp

    My new boss, a Saudi National via San Diego, with full USA work rights full USA professional employment and a family is USA school was detained for 3 days in L.A. last year without charge or recourse.

    He now has Australia residency and full professional status. He prefers San Diego and reckons we all work in a mad unstructured way.

    Top bloke, knows his stuff but ... not in Trump world however

    Our newest recruit is a Pakistani out of Saudi.

    These blokes build the desert but they won't build America.

    8 in the team, 8 Nationalities

    Stralya
     
  20. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I read that earlier today. Bloody disgusting.

    The immigration and customs agents are in my experience rude, surly and just downright unpleasant for the most part. They treat everyone as though they don't deserve either admission to their country, or oxygen. Welcome to America - not!

    I actively avoid going to the US these days, even when just in transit. Well, there's not such thing as "transit" as you have to enter and leave the country even if you don't leave the airport. Travelling to Canada I'll go Air Canada or Air NZ, though I would go Qantas when their direct flights are available.

    There was one immigration officer, once, who wasn't rude. Instead he tried to get me talking so he could probe for holes in my story by asking what my family background was. After about 40 seconds of me describing how we'd arrived in Australia over 100 years ago via Ireland (for a few hundred years) and Scotland before that, and how my sister had visited the family home in Ireland on a piece of windswept Atlantic coast and how it's now used as a barn for farm animals, he got bored and let me go. At least he wasn't unpleasant. They've probably sacked him by now.
     
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  21. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    We had a ripper guy on the way in to LA. Joking with us and the kids etc. Probably helps to be travelling with kids, but we’ve never had an issue or unpleasant experience. Had far worse coming back in to Australia.
     
  22. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'd buy a lottery ticket.

    Last time we went through the US (in Vancouver airport where they do US immigration before you even get on the plane) we had our 16 and 8 year olds in tow. We all got hauled aside, our checked bags were pulled up from below and searched and had to wait around for so long we thought we'd miss our flight. No reasons given. They combed our luggage like we were terrorists. Eventually the guy held a bag of apples up triumphantly and took them off to his boss. He came back with his tail between his legs after his boss pointed out that Canadian apples are allowed into the US.

    No apology, just a "get out of here". We made our flight as did our luggage, but it made for a stressful return from an otherwise nice holiday. Assholes.
     
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  23. Lady Penelope

    Lady Penelope One of some lot ... Ski Pass: Gold

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    Doesn’t really encourage you to visit the US, does it?
     
  24. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    No problem what so ever. They do give you the third degree leaving Australia now, 101 questions from a Qantas dude, but we had nothing to hide.
     
  25. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Tell "Qantas dude" to mind his own business. Literally
     
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  26. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    They are required to now apparently. Doesn’t bother me, whatever it takes.
     
  27. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    yep
    when person a went to the US on exchange last year she had to have a J-1 visa
    at the airport a Qantas person called out ‘anyone with a US visa?’ and took her and another student to first class check-in so service was actually quicker
     
  28. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have seen a lot of the USA, back in simpler times. Its great skiing but other places are just easier these days IMHO.

    My new passport has no USA work visa stuff in it so I don't get grilled as much anymore. The old one had quite a bit of coming and going that they took an interest in. The thing is, its all on computer anyway so there is no need for many questions.

    The whole "Border Security" carry on, queues and buffoon staffing is not my cup of tea.
     
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  29. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Piste Again - the US doesn't recognise the concept of "in transit". No sense getting annoyed about it. If you decide on a routing that involves a landing in a US airport, you're doing immigration and customs and that's all there is to it. Been like that for a good few years now, no surprises there. Like you, I prefer the AC or Air NZ flights for the convenience and speed of nonstop and avoidance of the hellhole known also as LAX.

    I've long observed a difference in staff attitude between the land crossings and the airport entries. The US airport guys mostly seem to be bored and deadpan, lacking a personality. Most of my experiences with the land crossing guys have been considerably more pleasant, and almost always they're more cheerful than their counterparts on the return to Canada. I think the airport guys see so many more people that it just becomes a blur to them. Lineups at the land borders can be lengthy at times, but they have to take at least a cursory look in the vehicle, so they're expected to take more time than they do in an airport situation.

    I like seeing an immigration official asking quickfire questions trying to pop something loose that could indicate a problem. They're actually using their training and senses to make an assessment, instead of relying on hi tech scanners and gadgets.
     
  30. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    The people at San Francisco used to be a lot closer to human beings than those at Los Angeles.
     
  31. chicski

    chicski A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah we came in through SF.
     
  32. sly_karma

    sly_karma Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    For a good laugh, try the crossing near Nighthawk, Washington. Tiny little middle of nowhere border post in the BC interior. Only open 9-5 Mon-Fri. Two identical little houses out by themselves in the middle of the dry sagebrush country, not another building in sight. One house is the US side, the other is Canada. Border guys get bored and lonely, like to chat. We go that way every so often just for a giggle, it's only 40 km out of the way. I've had long discussions with the border guy about building (the pros and cons of insulated concrete forms), generators (are Hondas really worth it?), wine, travel, and life in general. Been given good advice about minimising the tax we would pay on some booze we were bringing across. A completely different world from 'normal' borders.
     
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  33. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Los Angeles is pretty much a fake city though. Ugly, dry and the main reason for its existence is the movie industry. People move there because they have aspirations of making it in Hollywood. So, you have all these people with unfulfilled dreams who take a job, any job to make ends meet while they wait to be 'discovered'. San Francisco has a much better climate and natural beauty, and the people are there because they want to be there. Sure, not on an individual basis, and people tend to stay in the cities they were born in, but the pervasive vibe of the respective cities reflect it. imo
     
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  34. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    The only time in Nth America I ever had an inquistional question out to me was at YVR. A young newbie was suspicious about me travelling alone, but meeting up with OG1 and our daughter travelling on a different flight. He didn't believe me and thought I was acting suspiciously: I had briefly said something to the two people in front of me in the queue. Like I tapped one of them who was daydreaming on the shoulder and said 'That counter over there is free'.

    He looked pretty young and extra serious, just out of border agent training college probably.

    Never any such reception from US border staff in JFK, LAX or SFO nor in the US INS facility within YVR or YYC, nor at the Peace Arch land entry crossing point from BC into WA.

    We crossed from MT into AB eighteen months ago at the Chief Mountain crossing and had a great chat with the Canadian official and I imagine going the other way might be similar but I did hear from my boss, well former now I am retired again, how it was not so. Telling her about my then plans to visit back east last Sep/Oct she was very interested, having spent a number of years living in Hamilton OT, and recounted how on her last visit back to Canada to do a road trip through the Rockies with another woman she had known there.

    They crossed at Chief Mountain (as far as I could ascertain) into the US and out came some heavies who started taking the car apart. My boss explained (in an accent still sounding somewhat Nth American) how she was visiting from Australia to spend time with her old friend from Ontario and they were on vacation. She was somewhat taken aback she said when the response was "Shut up Aussie" and the DHS staff continued on their task with grim determination. Perhaps the theory was that those backwater crossing points might be perceived as easier to get stuff through.
     
  35. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    LAX, there is no airport in the world more appropriately labelled. It sure is one big Laxative.
     
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  36. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Doonks says he got through without clearing customs while in transit.
     
  37. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    JOTD? Certainly the new Tom Bradley terminal is a major improvement in the right direction. NYC-LAX-SYD in October was painless. Don't know the current circumstances if a LAX terminal change is required. Still :crap: I would imagine.
     
  38. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    I can’t recall the exact details but was in transit and had to change terminals but was outside in the public area.
    @Doonks would need to provide further detail.
     
  39. cqen2l

    cqen2l Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Back in September we took the Adirondack train from NYC to Montreal. At the Canadian border the black shirts boarded and one by one interogatted the entire train. They asked tge people behind us where they were heading. Like us and three nearby couples they said where off to Montreal then Quebec and picking up a cruise back to New York. Simultaneously three couples all said oh yes, so. are we!
    Didn't stop our humourless black shirt repeating the same question to each couple. He then asked me how many days I'd been in the US, 4 I said as he searched through my passport. Well it's actually 5 he said, why would you lie about that? FFS sake mate I'm on holiday, not counting days.
    Not a pleasant experience.
     
  40. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have come into LAX on a domestic flight and transferred by bus between terminals to pick up a flight home. It meant I avoided going through security again, but it wasn't international transit. Or if you go through customs and immigration in Canada it is like coming in on a domestic flight - still not transit.
     
  41. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It was 12/09. In transit to Calgary, went Melbourne, LAX, Dallas, Calgary. We were not travelling to USA at all and did not have any kind of visa or online form at all.

    We got off the plane, collected bags, and asked where the <whatever the name was> terminal was. We had to fly through Dallas to get to Calgary, stepped up to border control and this guy simply asked where we were going and was it business or pleasure. Told him it was our honeymoon. He stamped our passports and then we walked out to go to the other terminal. No customs at all. I think it was Tom Bradley.

    When we walked out to go the 200m to the next terminal I realised we were walking up an airport road and could have easily just got on a downtown bus. No visa, no customs check. It was weird. We definitely had access to simply leave the airport had we wanted to.
     
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  42. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    You have to wonder why they are so harsh on some people when they let others slip through such huge cracks.
     
  43. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    we caught the same train about 10 years ago
    that time the border officials seemed to be preoccupied with Canadians returning with stuff from the US that needed to be taxed - Gerry Harvey would love it
    it took about two hours
     
  44. Piste Again

    Piste Again Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting what people are saying about Canada. On our first visit to the place in 2011 we landed in Victoria BC (on a small flight from Seattle) and as we walked up to immigration we got "Welcome to Canada, folks" and a smile.
     
  45. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was once grilled for a while in Canada because I did not have the appropriate consents from the other parent of my 12 year old. Things were getting a bit annoying and I must have shown it. The immigration bloke asked why I was getting agitated. When I said that I had a flight to Kelowna in 30 minutes he smiled, said he saw my point and let me through.
     
  46. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you had no visa or ESTA, I'm amazed you were allowed on a plane.
     
  47. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Let me assure you, we had no USA documents. Was ESTA operating in 2009?
     
  48. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm pretty sure it was. I started taking the daughter to Canada/US in 2006, and I'm pretty sure we did it on ESTAs. I don't remember going to a consulate to get visas. Maybe Australians were just not required to have any documentation back then. According to Wikipedia it started in January 2009.
     
  49. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Brisbane
    8 hours stuck in the big laxative tomorrow
     
  50. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Coastal suburban boonies.
    Catch the bus up to Santa Monica or Venice Beach. Or go to the Getty Museum. They are not far away.
     
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