Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Barely Back in Canada

As the years go by I find airports harder to handle. They are a place where I am always saying goodbye to someone and it’s not too often there is anyone waiting for me on the other side. I had to say goodbye to my Bogota boy on the phone sitting on the floor in the airport. I felt like I was in a trance wandering around. After a good searching of my bag I was on the plane in my selected seat number 17 and asleep before the plane even took off.
My flight to Buffalo stopped in Orlando on the way, which was where I had to go through customs. I happily lined up in the foreigner line with all the Colombians, then after a look at my passport and the information about me on the computer I was escorted to another room. I had no idea what was going on. I was tired and a bit scared....hmmm...after 5 months in South America I arrive in the United States and this is the first time I am scared. A few Colombians were brought in with me all waiting our turn for doom. I felt like a criminal. They called my name and brought me into a small office where I was drilled with questions, I felt even more like a criminal but I did nothing wrong. The customs officer told me Colombia is a very dangerous place and asked why I was there. He probably has never been to the country. I told him that’s what people would like you to think but it’s beautiful and amazing.” At this point he is wondering where I hid the beautiful and amazing white powder Colombian souvenir. He asked me if I have ever been arrested, if I support myself or if my parents do, hello I’m 27! The questions went on and on. I had an easier time getting into Israel! They took me from that room into another area of the airport to wait some more. Did someone write mule on my forehead while I was asleep on the plane? Next was the bag search. I got really scared when I saw the big Latino customs officer putting on latex gloves; oh shit he’s going to put his fingers in my bum! Welcome to America!

Luckily it wasn’t a full cavity just a good thorough searching through all my personal belongs. The officer was very strict and ridged with me and I was not impressed at all. I couldn’t believe I had to deal with this. Then I saw him reaching for my secret condom pocket in my backpack. “Great! Just great!” but surprisingly it changed his attitude and loosened him up a bit. He reached in the pocket and found my stash and looked up at me. “What?!” I said “you should always be prepared and safe.” From then on everything he found in my bag turned into a joke regarding the condoms. “So this journal is this where you write about what happened with them?” It was slightly entertaining. After he had finished he helped me repack apologizing for messing up my precision packing and told me he sees a lot of people coming and going through the airport and I am the coolest girl he’s met. “Well you know what,” I told him, “I have been to a lot of countries in the world and yours is the hardest to get into.” I grabbed my bag and headed off finally having my freedom.
I looked around seeing all the oversized pasty people and a McDonald’s in the food court. Its official I am back in North America. I decided to join the lot and get a big Mac. Now I wouldn’t normally eat in a McDonald's but after Athens with my Ex it became tradition to eat in McDonald's in airports. It was odd being in an English speaking county again. I didn’t have to prepare and go over in my head what I was going to say to the woman at the counter. I could just order my food without thinking.

I discovered the Orlando airport has a fantastic wifi connection all through the airport and right at my gate were big comfy chairs with outlets so you could plug in recharge and compute away. It was fantastic time killing while I wanted for my flight. I thought it was the best thing in the world until I looked over and saw my planed had boarded and no one was around me. Crap! I had completely lost track of time while I was chatting to people, writing e-mails and messing about on facebook. I shoved everything into my bag and ran onto the plane, just in time.

This time I had someone to meet me on the other side, my parents. They had made the 4 hour journey to Buffalo to pick me up. It was a casual reunion as we had been through the routine many times before. It’s always good to see them again though. We drove to the Canada USA border and passed into Canada with no problem. I was on the final leg of my journey back to Canada to start a new job. As we past Tim Horton’s on the highway I looked out the window and wondered what adventures lay ahead of me on a boat in Ontario.


  1. love it...what lies ahead for the returned traveler...

  2. Crap I didn't even realize I had a comment here. I should pay more attention to my reader then maybe I will have more.
    I'm going to try to do post through the summer while I work on the boat with trips in between my cruises. The first will be the Montreal Jazz Festival. Come October I will be off again traveling as to where I am not sure yet I change my mind every day. Thanks for reading!!


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