Sunday, October 23, 2005

coming to america

i've heard a lot of horror stories about entering the US. i've heard about people being kept in the airport for hours and hours because their intentions for staying in america were questioned. i've heard about visa cancellations at the airport. i've heard about a long trip cut short without reason. so you can imagine why i was a bit worried about this trip.

it didn't help that all the way to the airport, juancho (3-year-old nephew) kept singing "anything can happen" (and dropping "... when you imagine" that's supposed to come after that phrase – it's a barney song, apparently) until it creeped us all out. can you say "prophetic"?

but i was totally unprepared for what happened at our port of entry.

we were finally at the immigrations counter at the san francisco airport. mia and i stepped up to the officer and even before we could say "hello," he met us with:

"you're sisters?"

"yes" (it's irritating how mia and i sound like twins when we say the same thing at the exact same time.)

"and you live in the same house?"


"you're both single?"

at that point, we were trying our best to keep smiling in spite of having violent thought bubbles. mine said, "YES, I'M SINGLE. THANK YOU FOR ASKING ME THE SAME QUESTION EVERY RELATIVE ASKS ME AT EVERY BLASTED REUNION. GET IN LINE."

instead of reacting, though, we just chanted our usual harmonious "yes."

"and just how OLD are you?"

*insert poker-face smiley here*

after that interview, we were sent to another office because mia has to stay in the country for 5 months. while we were trekking to that second interview, juancho's eerie song played in our mind.

at that other interview, my passport was misplaced and found its way to a group of passports of an elderly woman and her young grandchild. the inspector looked at the passports and said, "hey we have 3 generations here! the grandma, the mom (looking at my passport) and the daughter!"

my thought bubble popped.

"i am not a mother!!!"

"no, here – aren't you with this group?"

"no! I AM NOT A MOTHER!" (so much for staying calm)

at that point, they just sent us out before i tried to thoroughly explain my current civil status and before my sister passed out from trying to control her laughter.

note to america: make up your mind about me.

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