Back in the USA….err…almost

I’m writing this from the Toronto airport. There is a serious lack of outlets in this airport. Earlier I was sitting on the floor next to the payphones like a total sketchball.

My plane supposedly leaves at 11:35 for Boston. I’m hopeful, because unlike some other cities on the east coast (cough, DC, cough, cough), Boston knows how to handle a snow storm. The heaviest snow is supposed to stop by 12:00 and they’ll have an hour to clear the runways for us. Right??? I’m trying to have a positive outlook.

It’s weird to be around so many people speaking English. I legitimately went up to the lady at the news stand and asked for an “agua mineral” and she started talking to me in French. Oops. And as I’ve been walking around I keep thinking “WOW! So many gringos here.”Um, duh, Abby. You’re in Canada!

Oh, and I found out that according to US Customs, I’m a Chilean Resident. I told them that according to Chile, that wasn’t the case. The lady just glared at me and told me to change it on the form. I did, because I may or may not be carrying too many bottles of wine in my luggage and didn’t want her to mark my luggage to be checked because I pissed her off.

My first customer experience this morning had me thinking I was back in Chile, though. After a disgusting AirCanada breakfast (the dinner was good though), I was starving so I went to this little place to buy a muffin and coffee (the line for Starbucks was too long). The total came to $7.28 (ouch!) and I handed her exact change, in US currency. She started telling me how she’d have to give me change in Canadian dollars, asking me if I minded. I told her I had given her exact change so it shouldn’t matter. Then she explained to me about the exchange rate and how the US dollar was worth less than the Canadian dollar (thanks for the reminder, lady). I told her I understood. Then she said, “But you can pay with a credit card.” So I asked her, but what if I want to pay in cash? She said, yes, but I’ll have to give you change in Canadian dollars. “Okay,” I replied, “I gave you exact change. So, are you saying I need to give you more money?” She said, “Well, you can pay with a credit card.” OH MY GOD! So I calmly explained that I did not want to pay with a credit card and asked her how much I owed in US dollars. “Oh!” she piped up, “Let me just calculate that for you.” FINALLY. I owed 40 cents more. All that for 40 cents. Really?? One thing I have to say, though, is that although the whole exchange was very frustrating, she was relatively friendly.

Another observation, airport security has gotten waaaaaay more lax. Well, in Santiago it’s a joke, but it’s always been like that. When I went back through Security here in Toronto though, I had two containers of liquid outside my plastic baggie (one which is more than 3 oz) and they didn’t say anything. Maybe I was just lucky. I didn’t even realize myself until after.

OOOH! The pilot is getting on the plane! Good news folks. Here’s hoping I make it home relatively soon.


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