In the past three weeks I have gone through so many “Customs controls” and x-ray machines that I probably qualify for a U.N. card (for the record I have no clue how to get on the United Nations board but if a blood sucking freak like Angelina Jolie can do it how hard can it be?) and glow in the dark.
Over the years I have developed some “border” skills but for some reason they still make me nervous. Not because I am smuggling contraband but because I know these guys can screw up my plans to hit Starbucks before my flight and that has the potential to mess up my whole day! I’m a cat person, I like routine and a midday nap. Being interrorgated about my luggage and whereabouts always brings on an onslaught of grief because quite frankly…where do I start?
It all started when…
I do my homework. I check for any changes in the regulations and ask questions frequently. But it really irks me when I know more than the people who are hassling me about my “papers”.
Exhibit A: I’m at Rome airport on my way to the U.S. The airline employee asks me for my Visa…ummm, I’m a Canadian, with a Canadian Passport, I don’t need a Visa. Yes you do she insists, and so the games begin.
Exhibit B: Government employee in Italy asks if Canada is part of the European Union…I’ll let that one sit with you for a bit.
Exhibit C: Charleston Port Authority Customs official asks if I’m travelling alone…um, sort of, my husband works on board. Not missing a beat, the guys asks where is he…me: um, working? He then states that I “live in Canada”…um, no, actually, I live in Italy. He then repeats his claim, I offer to change tactics and show him my European Govermnent documents…he asks me why I don’t have an Italian Passport…um, cuz I’m not Italian?
Exhibit D: Christmas day…hungry and tired. Drive through U.S./Canada border. Blah, blah, blah. Where do you live? Me: Toronto. Dude: Have a nice day!
Exhibit E: 4:00 a.m. on the way to the airport. Drive through border patrol again…Dude: Where you going? Me: Charleston, on a cruise. Dude: When are you returning to Canada? Me: The cruise is 5 days 🙂 Dude repeats question…(Crap! I’ve got 2 pounds of maple fudge, 2 litres of maple syrup, deer antlers and police badges in my luggage, I don’t have time to explain all of this because then I will miss my plane-all of which is totally legal by the way). With a sincere tear in my eye I answer honestly, I don’t know when I will be back to Canada, I live in Italy, gulp. Dude: Click, click on the computer…Have a nice flight. Whew!
When I finally arrived at the airport I was so emotional I had to run into the bathroom for a good cry. I don’t know if I was more upset by the fact that I didn’t know when I would go home again or with the fact that I really didn’t want to leave. Can I stay a bit longer and eat some more english muffins please?
In two more days I will be back on a plane (I’m not crazy, just certifiable). TSA already did a screening of my luggage so I am guessing that they have finally figured out that I am just a homesick Canadian hillbilly posing as a sophisticated Torontonian and not a terrorist.
As much as I love being with my husband, he works all day and there are only so many sunburns a gal can get in a five day cruise! I can’t wait to see Coco. Boy, is she going to be pissed off when she smells all the other dogs and cats on my slippers, haha.