Thursday, December 13, 2007

suspension of judgement

(december 12, 2007)

if i can say one thing about minneapolis is that people are friendly. like the kind of friendly that makes a solo traveller feel at ease. well, apart from the immigration police officer who started raising his voice for all in the hall to hear as he told a woman, ‘this is my house and here we do things my way, maybe you do things different in your house but you are in the us now’ and ‘i am not afraid to put you under arrest.’ and all this fuss because she was ill and didn’t want to wait for the medic to arrive after he had called her. i try to suspend judgement, but a situation like that how can you not roll your eyes and feel embarrassed for americans. and if you know me, you know that i defend americans from the bad rap that they get so often and that too often people make the most negative stereotypes about them. but then after that episode, how i can i blame them?

other lovely things about today:
  • i have been travelling for nearly 2 days and am dirtay (ok that one is not so lovely)
  • i did not freeze my buns off although it is snowy and cold in Minneapolis
  • i went to the Mall of America and there is no way that it is bigger than West Edmonton Mall, nicer though
  • i treated myself to a solo lunch (i love going out for meals alone, especially when in foreign places) of canadian salmon and a glass of red wine – delicious!
  • water fountains! i had forgotten about those. i love drinkable tap water
  • telling people what i do generally impresses people. the customs guy (not the ass i mentioned above) told me it sounded interesting, the starbucks guy was fascinated, my server at the restaurant said i was on the ‘good guys’ side,’ and the t shirt lady gave me a discount as i chatted with her about where i am from, where i live, and whether or not i am married (a strange stranger question, but not at all offensive because she was just so friendly)
  • i did a lot of shopping. but i got a lot of gifts, which is a good thing as i was beginning to worry about being able to get it all done. i would say which gifts i am most happy about but i must keep it a secret
  • the most enormous ukranian lady sat beside from amsterdam to minneapolis and it made eating difficult as she really took up my space. i have never known what i think about making obese people buy two seats, but i think i paid for more space that i actually got today
  • who knew there were so many asian people in minneapolis?
  • i stood in line for one of my flights in from of two professional bmx riders and i am sure they were much smarter than they sounded. geez. i have tried to work the word ‘like’ out of excessive use and i would suggest they do too if they ever decide to be grow ups (not that being a professional bmx rider is not grown up, but talking like a teenager is not grown up and kind of obnoxious in a line up when i cannot get away from it)
  • i stood behind this most miserable mother and her three children in the same line up and was convinced the entire time that with her louis handbag, designer jeans, botoxed lips, and nasal accent that she was merican, but was mildly disappointed when i realised that she was canadian. and i bet they were headed back to calgary... (so much for suspending judgement)
  • i had my first egg nog latte in a red cup of the season! (and my tongue is still burnt as a reminder)
  • mass consumerism – wow
  • christmas tunes everywhere, i love it
  • things that work! like bathrooms (with hot water AND soap, what luxury) and public transport that won’t unnecessarily risk your life
  • an observation – while waiting for my flight in amsterdam, there were many empty seats in a section of the gate and the only people sitting there were a muslim woman entirely covered and african men and women and everyone else was all crammed into the other sections. strangely (or not?), i immediately went to sit near them as i felt less threatened and more comfortable
  • i will be home in 5 hours!
  • i bought a shirt today that says ‘i only date republicans’ – oh, the irony.
  • i have been sneezing up a storm (also not so lovely) and am afraid that i have contracted plane germs
  • the american woman behind me and the enormous ukranian woman (who was very sweet and ordered everything that i did because she did not speak much english, i hope she likes tomato juice!) seemed to be calling her most very best girlfriends in the whole world (and she was about 45) to tell them about her upcoming wedding to a knight in england and how she has been divorced since she last saw these most very best girlfriends but they are such most important special people to her that she wanted them to come to her most fantastic and beautiful wedding. i wanted to tell her to shut up and take her phone calls of such a personal nature off the plane, besides she kept apologising for waking every one of them up as if she didn’t know. flake. (ok, so much for suspending judgement, but travelling for so long in one stretch gives you lots of people watching and listening time)
  • did i mention christmas tunes?! and home in 5 hours?!
  • yay


K said...

welcome back to canada!!
I'm excited to see you.

La Cabeza Grande said...

North America is happy to see you!

Please know that I feel such shame at martinets such as that small-minded customs agent. Take a breath and think about what your actions say about the rest of us. And about you!

Glad you made it home safely, Lu.

Heather said...

That's a fun list... and I know all about the ole "1 in 2" which is the code we use for people who need two seats. It's a tough subject. And I also share your delight in seeing bathrooms with soap! toilet seats! toilet paper! after going without, though you've gone without a lot longer than I did.

liz said...

Don't think of it as being judgmental - think of it as making bitchy observations :) And I totally want an "I only date republicans" t-shirt of my own!!