And American officials do like to yell at the tops of their voices, getting everyone in the right queue, as if we were a herd of deaf cows. It can be disconcerting for visitors who don't realise that Americans have many admirable traits but subtlety is not generally one of them.
I would, however, like to give a special mention to the tail-wagging sniffer beagle who cheered us up and kept us entertained in the queue, with his handler feigning joky exasperation at his antics. The beagle is apparently trained to sniff out bananas and apples (we were told) and his handler was carrying a plastic bag, which she was rapidly filling with a haul of fruit. One woman behind us had to surrender a couple of what looked like Waitrose apples. I would like to assure Americans that Waitrose apples are very hygienic and they really don't need to worry their heads about them. But that's modern life after all.You can't be too careful. I wonder if they send the fruit back somewhere on a plane or whether it's just thrown away - in which case it's entered America anyway, hasn't it? Puzzling.