Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tomato Juice, Harassment, and Confirmation That I'm An American Patriot

This morning, I woke up in a Toronto hotel. And, my journey here was a long, weird, and very uncomfortable one, to say the least. In fact, I can't wait to get the hell HOME. God, I love America.

I'm on business again, and while I always hate traveling for business, this trip has already given new emotional, amplified meaning to the word "hate."

It all started when I got on the Air Canada flight to get here. First of all, the plane was no bigger than my Mazda, I don't think. It was tiny. In fact, my laptop bag couldn't even roll down the aisle, as it was too skinny to barely accomodate humans walking down it. I was wearing a white sweater - a beautiful, oversized, cable-knit white hoodie that I just love. Well, DID love, anyway. On every single flight I take, I always order tomato juice. (I'm sure you can see where this is going.) This flight was no exception, and the stewardess (I know I'm supposed to say flight attendant, but this one was a stewardess, believe me) brought me my tomato juice. Only, she didn't just bring it to me. She poured it all over me. Tomato juice - meet my white sweater. White sweater - meet tomato juice. Lovely.

So, I remain cool and smiling. I figured this was an accident, so there's no reason to become a raging bitch. However, she didn't even apologize to me. Not an, "Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry...let me get you some towels." I was sitting there, in my pool of tomato juice, trying to get it off my sweater with a beverage napkin that had about as much absorbency as a piece of baby hair.

Thanks for flying Air Canada!!

I get off the plane, looking like I murdered a small animal with my bare hands. I'm OK with this, beyond being self-conscious at this point, and I go through the cattle lines of customs. After waiting for about 20-30 minutes with people staring at my red-stained white sweater, I get up to the customs counter and the customs Nazi beyotch starts asking me all sorts of questions. I answer happily, politely, and she continues to be a an obvious "I-hate-my-job-so-I'll-be-horrific-to-you" kind of gal. "What are you doing here? Why are you doing it? You're a consultant? What exactly are you teaching while you're here? Have you ever been here before?" You know the drill. And, I respect that she doesn't want idiots in her country, so I obliged with my detailed answers - all done with a smile.

I figured all was well when she marked my customs paperwork and sent me on to the next step. As I was cluelessly walking towards the final customs Nazi to let me through to baggage, she flagged me and motioned me to go to Immigration. This is where the real fun began.

So, I walk over to immigration like a hardened criminal that had just murdered a small animal with her bare hands, of course. They push me on through to this other room with about 12 immigration officials. This really fat dude motions me to come up to his window, I do, and then he starts with the most inappropriate line of questioning I've ever encountered in my 37 years.

First, he made fun of my name. Now, I know I've never divulged my real name out here, but I happen to go by two names and they resemble a name you'd see on the show "Petticoat Junction." I'm O.K. with this. I kind of like my little country-like name. And, it really wasn't this fat bastard's place to make fun of it, but I let him, because he was the only thing standing between me and my hotel room.

His first question, "So, (insert my Petticoat Junction Name here), I bet you're a Daddy's girl just hearing THAT name."

I wasn't quite sure how to respond to that. Strike one.

Just some of the other wonderful tidbits in my conversation with him (and this is just the tip of the iceberg):

Him: "If you just agree with everything I say, then you can get out of here easier."
Me: "Um, alright."

Him: "Is that last name of yours a married name? You don't look like you've popped out a bunch of kids yet."
Me: (biting lip...fake smiling)

Him: "You have some pretty white teeth - your Daddy pay for those?"
Me: (more fake smiling, and 100% sure I could deck him and outrun the fat bastard)

Him: "So, you're a Consultant? We have about as much regard for those as we do attorneys around here....yeah, you're at the bottom of the barrel."
Me: (still fake smiling and seething with anger)

Him: "You realize why you're in immigration right now, huh? We don't take too kindly to anyone who may be wanting to take one of our jobs here in Canada, just like you guys in America probably don't want people taking your jobs - especially in your economy right now."
Me: "Yes, sir." (thinking: why in the SAM HELL would I want to come LIVE HERE AND WORK HERE, you bloated, ignorant moron?)

Him: "So, you've NEVER been to Toronto? How OLD are you? 37? And, you've NEVER BEEN HERE? Have you been living under a ROCK?"
Me: "No, sir." (Thinking: Yes, because you've been such a wonderful representation of this country and I'm just SHOCKED that I never, ever want to come back to this hell hole of a Nazi regime....but you're right, I'm sheltered. Now go home to your two cats and eat a dozen donuts while you wallow in your loneliness, you prick.)

And, this was just part of it. There were also comments about my hair, my American-jet-setting appearance (which I find hilarious, seeing as how I looked like a tomato-juice-covered hobo by this point), questions about whether or not I was married, had kids, had animals, other jobs I had, what I taught, where I live, etc. etc. etc.

I'm sure there are some really nice people in Toronto. I'm sure it's a beautiful place, even though I'll only get to see the inside of a hotel today. And, you know what? I don't give a crap...because I want to go home. To America. Today. I'm an official, American-loving, capitalist pig of a chick. A dirty American consultant.

My husband says I should file a complaint. I think I'll do that, but only when I'm safely the hell out of here.

I'm counting the hours.