The Return

June 20th, 2006, 2:20 pm PST by Greg

I haven’t blogged for a while, not having anything to say. Went to a couple of meetings; unpacked some boxes. I have posted some pictures of the new place in the gallery if anybody’s interested.

Today is the return trip to NC. I got up nice and early. Kelly was kind enough to take me to the airport. As usual, I had to connect in Toronto for a flight to Raleigh-Durham.

The flight to Toronto was uneventful. As some of you may know, you go through US customs in the Toronto airport, so you don’t have to at your destination.

In the customs line with an hour and a half to go. No problem.

A half hour in the line. No problem.

“I’m going to visit my wife in Chapel Hill.” “Yes, I work in Vancouver and have a return ticket.” “No, I don’t have the itinerary for the return, or proof of employment.” [My trip back to BC was a return, with the eventual return to Canada on the original ticket. I hadn’t printed it out since it wasn’t part of today’s journey.]

“Step into the back room, sir.” Problem.

An hour and ten minutes in a back room waiting to have the same 30 second conversation with another guy, and give him a business card. Problem.

So, here I sit in the Toronto airport, waiting four hours for the next flight to Raliegh.

Fuck the immigration guy and his short-man complex. Yes, I know why I’m here, asshole. Oh, I should have proof of a return ticket or employment in Canada in the future? I hadn’t thought of that during the last hour while I watched you stand behind the counter and play with yourself! I am forever in your debt.

Open question: how drunk can you be before they won’t let you on a plane?

One further fuck you to the Toronto Airport for carefully not putting any power outlets anywhere near a seat. That must save whole dollars over the course of a year.

Update (12:30am EDT): I’m here.

11 Responses to “The Return”

  1. Greg Says:

    Found a guy sitting staring intently at his laptop, near the one accessable power plug. So, I’m powered up.

    And before anybody asks, there was no cavity search. Frankly, I might have taken a quick rubber-glove treatment, if it meant I got on my plane.

    I’m reminded of the “it’s beter than dealing with the airlines” episode of South Park.

  2. Eugene Says:

    Why do you need employment proof? That doesn’t make any sense. Shouldn’t your citizenship be what matters?

    Fucking Americans…

  3. Greg Says:

    I was going to see my wife who was a US citizen in the US–they figured I was going to disappear and stay. They wanted some proof that I was going back.

    I thought about pointing out that I wasn’t going to use my several degrees to do landscaping, or whatever else illegals do. I didn’t think that agrument was going to get me very far.

  4. Kelly Says:

    I’m thinking your argument would get you that rubber-glove treatment you were so looking forward to. 🙂

  5. Noah Says:

    I don´t know how drunk you can be before they won´t let you on, but on my flight to London from Montreal they kept trying to put everyone to sleep with liquor. An older claifornian woman sitting next to me must have managed a good 5 complimentary drinks…

  6. Em Says:

    Hey y’all

    Now that you’re reunited here’s some places to celebrate in the usual manner.

    Allen and Son Bar-B-Que 6203 Millhouse Road, Chapel Hill

    Bullock’s Bar-B-Cue 3330 Quebec Drive, Durham

    Maple View Farm Country Store (ice cream) 3109 Dairyland Road, Hillsborough

    From an article about a ‘barbeque’ road trip through the south.

  7. Noah Says:

    Also, I have a fun story about landing in Heathrow, being threatened with being sent back to Montreal and then haing a very apologetic English immigration officer kindly hand me back my passport, plane and train tickets and apologize for holding me for upwards of a half hour.

  8. Greg Says:

    I have been thinking about it, and had a bit of a change of heart about the short-man immigration guy.

    Yeah, he was a dick, but there were like six people working there, and he was the only one I saw actually dealing with the people waiting. At a rate of six people per hour, that’s infinitely more than the rest of them.

    So, here’s to you prick-immigration-guy!

  9. Jeb Says:

    Here is a repost of my most exciting airport security story (yes I am hijacking your blog):

    As some of you know, a few days before I was supposed to fly out my wallet
    (and my only valid photo ID) went missing. I did some last minute scraping,
    and came up with an expired drivers license and a subway card with two
    stamps. I figured that that should be enough for a domestic flight, but
    there were some skeptics among you that thought there might be trouble at
    the airport.

    It turned out that the sketchy ID was a relatively small problem. And by
    relative I of course mean relative the trace amounts of nitroglycerine they
    detected on my laptop! Any of you that have traveled in the last year may
    have noticed that a lot of the new (and I dare say hastily hired) security
    staff look like a motley cure of McDonald’s cast offs, day passers and
    teenagers serving community service sentences.

    Well let me tell you, they have a separate elite force for us international
    terrorist suspects. In the thirty seconds it took the machine operator to
    explain to me that they had detected something on my laptop, I had been
    subtly surrounded by people in red badges. They were all casually leaning
    on things just over an arms length away, not drawing the attention of the
    other passengers by very effectively blocking all my avenues of escape.
    Trying to keep the situation light I quipped “Get many false positives with
    this thing?” One of the meaner looking of the bunch, I will call him Snarly
    Face, said “We’ve had a thousand people go through this thing today, and you
    are the only one to set it off. You must have something on you.” I started
    to have visions of basement rooms and body cavity searches.

    To make a long story shorter, after a chat with the Ottawa police and a
    negative retest the airline rep decided that my laptop and I posed no
    security threat and we were allowed to board. Warning to other laptop
    owners; the police officer told me they get about 20 false alarms each week
    for this sort of thing, and almost all of them are laptops. In your face
    Snarly Face!

  10. Eunice Says:

    The flight to Toronto was uneventful. As some of you may know, you go through US customs in the Toronto airport, so you don’t have to at your destination.

    I HATE THAT. Either they or Air Canada couldn’t be arsed to figure out how to get my bags from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 and I nearly missed my flight to Pittsburgh. After a long wait, my bags finally arrived, I ran through Customs and then made it to my gate to find out I had to take a twin prop to Pittsburgh. Colour me not impressed.

  11. Wheeee!-- Greg and Kat’s blog Says:

    […] I had a 2:30 layover in Toronto, so I’d be sure I had enough time to get the connection, having missed connections on a 1:30 layover there before. Good one, Air Canada! […]