I had a fun trip to Canada and back. The visa interview itself was uneventful and smooth, and it seems like the US Consulate also has lost hope of me finishing my Ph.D anytime soon, they extended my student visa for the next five years! Hah! :-)
And now I have bloggers block. I was storing away bits of my trip to blog about later, but I just cannot get myself to write. Ottawa was fun and Montreal was very beautiful. I'd love to live in Montreal, actually.
I will write more later. For now, let me leave you with snippets of an "interesting" conversation I had during my trip.
place: At the duty-free shop in the Departures lounge @ Atlanta airport
sign at entry to shop: "a valid boarding pass is needed to enter beyond this point" and a young lady (30-ish, at most?) manning the sign.
Lady to me: Now lemme see your boarding card
Me: *Shows her* I am looking excited and happy, I guess just because I was excited and happy!
Lady: Now, whe'you goin'??
Me: Ottawa, Canada.
Lady: Canada? Now, wait wait, isn't Canada a part of the U.S?
Me: (I didn't get that memo!) err no, it's a country by itself.
Lady: (Now she thinks I am pulling a fast one on her) No, no, I remember, Canada and Puerto Rico are a part of the United States, you can't go in here!
Me: Canada is really a country by itself. Puerto Rico is a US territory, yes, but not Canada! (I must've been smiling now, more out shock at having this conversation than anything else)
Lady: No, no! you can't go in here. Wha'you wanna buy? cigarettes???
Me: I just want to look at the perfumes. *Smiling imploringly*
Lady: (convinced that I'm trying to slip by) No, no, (laughs). You a smart girl now!
Me: Look, I need a visa to enter Canada, it's a country by itself, really!! And there are only international departures at this concourse, aren't they?
Lady: Shakes head and laughs me away. Jeez!!
Me: (I wanted to say, I want to see your manager ;) ) but instead, I played the birthday card. "It's my birthday, will you please let me by??". Because at this point, any geography lesson would be lost on her.
Lady: Let me see.. is it really your birthday?
Me: show her my drivers license.
Lady: Laughing. Okay, now, you can go then, and Happy Birthday!
Me: Thank-you. And you really need to believe me, the Canadians will be very upset if they hear you say that Canada is a part of the US.
Lady: More laughing.
They need to put the map of USA on all drivers licenses.