Orlando: what else could go wrong?

Asahi for Dinner
Asahi for Dinner

I got my haircut in the morning, did some work, went to the gym, and then, when Glen arrived home at 5:30, we left to get dinner at Asahi before heading to the airport for our flight to Orlando.

I dread going through US Border Control because they’re usually so rude. While it’s now tolerated that people living in the same household (commonly known as a family, even if they’re not married) can go through together on the same blue card, we still get barely contained homophobic reactions when we walk up and they say we don’t look related. To which we have to say we’re married. You’d think, being based in Canada, that these people would be used to this permutation of a human relationship by now.

Usually I’m the one kicking Glen behind the counter because he gets so terse with these people, but this time I could barely contain my disgust with how we were being treated. I know the guy’s name. I’m tempted to put in a complaint. After there “you don’t look related” remark, my back was up. I crossed my arms. One clipped word responses from there on out.

He asked how much money we were taking into the US. We said none because who honestly carries cash. He then asked about credit cards and we said yes, we had some. Don’t you think that should be enough? No, he then has to make some lame remark about washing dishes in America.

Then it was on to our passports. “Oh, Australia’s just the same as New Zealand.” Um, excuse me, dickhead, but would you say Iranians are just the same as Iraqis, or Israelis the same as Palestinians, or Canadians the same as Americans? No, you wouldn’t. So how about not being an offensive ****.

This unpleasant experience eventually ended, but the anger at being treated so poorly stayed with me for a long time after. We then took an age to get through security clearance before getting to our gate.

We were on time. Our boarding passes did not have seats assigned so we went to the gate. The attendant at the desk said we should sit down and we would be called. We sat. I went and bought some smoothies. I came back and we still hadn’t been called but an announcement had gone out saying the flight was oversold and they were looking for volunteers to stay behind.

I started looking up what we’d be entitled to. $800 cash each to stay behind. Tempting but Glen has to present at the conference tomorrow and I’m going to Disneyland with Julian, Dave and Antony. Plus I was still in a ropable mood from the border check guy that I didn’t feel in any way like being pushed around.

We waited to be called. They opened up boarding for Zone 1. I went up to the counter and said we still didn’t have seats. She said to sit down and we’d be called. We waited. The ENTIRE flight boarded. We were two of five people still sitting there. We turned around to see Pavel, the consultant from TGH, arriving late at the gate. We waved, at which point the attendant asked if we were going to Orlando.

My blood pressure rose.

Yes. We were going to Orlando. No. We had not volunteered to stay behind. She took our boarding passes, then came over and asked if we wanted to stay behind (we’d get $800 cash). As we’d already discussed it, I immediately said no, that we needed to be on that plane.

Luckily, two other people had volunteered to stay behind so when all was said an done, we got on the plane and they stayed behind. I wish I’d said a better thank you but I was still a bit miffed by the whole experience. At least we got on the flight.

The seat I’d been assigned had been taken up by a mother with her two children (or the row had). I didn’t mind changing. Someone’s got bad smelling feet around here. Unfortunately Glen and I were not seated next to each other. The flight was a bit bumpy and I kept thinking, it would just round everything off nicely if we went down. Histrionic, I know, but sometimes it feels good to be that way.

Well, we survived the flight. Got out into the airport. Julian picked us up in the rental car and dropped us off at the hotel. We checked in. Room is very nice. Big too. Started to unpack. That’s when I realised I’d left my passport on the plane.

This holiday is just going from strength to strength. After a couple of phone calls to various places, I finally got someone mildly useful who gave me the number to call at Orlando. Unfortunately they’re closed until 8am (it’s 1am) now so I’ll just have to wait until morning to see if they’ve got it and whether they’ll give it back to me. If not (on either or both counts), I’ll have to go to the police station and submit a police report, and then go to the Australian Embassy to inform them and get some sort of passport so I can get back into Canada. All by Tuesday.

Fingers crossed I can get the passport back. If I can’t, it doesn’t bear thinking about right now.

And tomorrow was supposed to be a fun day at Disneyland.

2 Replies to “Orlando: what else could go wrong?”

  1. Poor you! I do empathasize- homophobic customs officials and then mislaying your passport! I hope that you can enjoy the ‘Happiest Kingdom of them all’ and have time to get to Disney Animal Kingdom. Susan x

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