Thursday, April 12, 2012

Welcome to America

It’s not easy to get into America.

(pic borrowed from web)

A grueling flight (sixteen hours). Paperwork before the plane lands.  A line that winds and twists like a ride at Worlds of Fun.  Removing shoes and jacket, opening laptop and carryon, standing tall and lifting arms.  Anything in your pockets?  Got liquids?  Wearing a belt?  One guy takes off his shirt, bare skinned in protest to “excessive security.” (Obviously an American.)

I don’t mind any of it, but that’s a different blog.

More:  waiting at a carousel and picking up bags. Border control dogs. Guards and uniformed officials, airline employees and airport security.  Passport review and handing off bags to be rehandled, re-sorted and (hopefully) re-checked to its US destination.

Walking, waiting, more lines…and then:

Paperwork, please. Why were you in Qatar? What did you do?  How long were you there? Are you going back?  When?

And finally, finally:  STAMP.  “Welcome home.”

Humduilallah!  My innards swell:  my kids.  My house.  My yard.

pretty trees in my front yard, pic by Kay

So much I love about America:  open, smooth six lane highways. Drivers who merge, allow others in, wait on pedestrians. People in a multitude of colors.  A green, green garden that grows whether I’m here to water it or not.  Running outside in shorts and tank top. A place to park.  Dems and Reps and Muslims and Catholics, the haves and the have nots - side by side at the checkout.  Walmart.  Modern Family.  Taco Bell.

Oh yes, I do love America.

Still, Qatar has something America doesn’t: 

I like this pic.  J

I squeeze my beautiful not-a-baby-anymore-housesitting daughter and make lists: of everything that must be done before I can…

…Go Back.


Anonymous said...

I didn't/don't mind the inconveniences, either. Mostly anyway. Not this year, but last year, coming into America from Greece, the DOG smelled me, and gave the signal. whatever that is/was. Something wasn't all right. I was immediately circled by peopl in uniforms, and had to open EVERYthing. It seemed that everyone in the baggage claim section was watching--glad it was me and not them. They ultimately decided that food that I had brought on the plane, and eaten during the flight, left an unexpected fragrance, ...and I was released. But it was an experience I will always remember. Posted by Cindi's Mom

Lucinda H. Kennaley said...

WOW, how is it that I never heard this story? Inconvenient, unsettling, but extra hour (or so) seems like a small price...