One Hurdle (Barely) Cleared

I’m at Seattle Tacoma International Airport now, waiting for a midnight flight to Houston, Texas, on the second leg of my trip to New York City, where I’m going to spend a few days checking the city out and doing research for my entry into this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short).

I almost didn’t make it this far, though. When the bus I was on got to the Pacific border crossing in–or near–Blaine, Washington, the first guard to process everyone who was on the bus ushered me to the side so he could talk to me, after I admitted to him I’m currently unemployed. He was courteous and patient, and didn’t raise his voice–even when I took longer than I should have to register, at one point, that he was asking for my home address in Vancouver. He searched my bags–the only thing he did I didn’t like was stack two of my spiral notebooks on top of each other with the spirals facing the same way–then he let me proceed. I, for my part, didn’t lash out, but sucked up the situation, and honestly answered his questions.  The ladies checking luggage were quite gracious, waiting patiently for me to fumble with, and then close, my knapsack before placing it on the conveyor belt for them to survey.

At least I was allowed to continue on to Seattle.

When we arrived at the Amtrak station, I was disappointed to find there were no staff around for me to ask if I would be catching my train back to Vancouver from that same station, so I’ll have to assume it is. So I just hailed a cab outside of the station, and we headed to the airport. The cab driver was friendly; we had some good conversation, and he very politely corrected my pronunciation of Mount Rainier; I pronounced Rainier the French way (my dad’s side of the family tree is French Canadian), but it turns out, here in Washington State, it’s actually pronounce raehn-YEER. Well, you learn something new every day.

Please allow me a digression here: I’m absolutely amazed at how big Seattle is in comparison to Vancouver, whose council seems to be focused on growing upward instead of outward. It took so long to get from the King Street Station to the airport, and the ride cost me just under $40 US. Given the distance between the bus/train station and the airport, I honestly didn’t think I was going to get off that cheaply.

And now I’m waiting to continue my trip.  I have to admit, I’m really looking forward to getting on an airplane again, now for the first time in over ten years.

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