It must be very stressful to be an airport shuttle driver. I was stressed even before sunrise and I was only a passenger. The driver arrived and drove with a great sense of urgency. I hope I don’t ever drive with such intensity. Next time I see an airport shuttle service in traffic, I will surely get out of their way.
At the airport, check in and boarding were very quick. I like traveling on the first flight out because everyone is prompt, usually alert and people traveling at this hour have a sense of purpose. You usually don’t see many people wearing pink sweatsuits and holding stuffed animals. Not that there is anything wrong with stuffed animals, I used to travel with one through college. My bear had more miles than most people. He even flew internationally and first class a few times. I don’t own the bear anymore. Similar to Andy, in Toy Story, when Andy was ready to give Buzz Lightyear and Woody a new home, I too gave him a new home.
I was amused by everyone who was traveling for work. I wanted to say to them, “I used to be like you, but I got out. I don’t have to remove my laptop and I do not have a cell phone attached to my head/hand.”
In the screening area, I have stereotypes. I not only look for the shortest line, but I look to follow business travelers, avoiding the lines with families, or those people carrying travel pillows. Business travelers know the drill and it is second nature to remove your shoes, jackets and belt.
When I arrived in customs, I had a difficult conversation with the agent. She wasn’t so happy with any of my answers.
Agent: What will you be doing during your time in Vancouver?
L: Hanging out, seeing friends, exploring neighborhoods, maybe some hiking.
A: How many days are you staying?
L: Probably 6 or 7 days.
A: Probably? You don’t have a return flight.
L: No, I’m going to take Amtrak to Seattle and I don’t know which day I would like to leave yet.
A: Who are you staying with in Seattle?
L: I don’t know yet.
A: (Making faces at me). Why don’t you have a return ticket?
L: Because I’m taking the train to Seattle.
A: What do you do for work?
L: I don’t have a job now. I quit my job in May.
A: Why did you quit your job?
L: I am looking for something more life fulfilling.
This conversation went on for probably 15 minutes before she stamped my custom form. It made me a little nervous. She didn’t like that I didn’t have hard answers or definite plans. I’ll practice my responses before I go to Asia to make sure I can get through the customs line faster.