Within minutes of leaving customs I found myself questioning and responding to people in so many different languages that I felt like a walking Tower of Babel (as opposed to Digital Tower of Babel, RE this blog). It’s conflicting to re-enter American territory. There’s a whole different set of rules, guidelines and general no-no’s that must be adhered to in the Land of the Free. Here’s a short list detailing
HOW TO GRACEFULLY RE-ENTER AMERICAN SOCIETY FROM ABROAD
- First and foremost, tear that bogus Canadian flag off your backpack. That can get you killed here.
- Don’t ask about me. I’m not famous in this country yet, at least not under this name. In the USA I go by “Lady GaGa”
- NEVER fly US AIR
- Be as prepared as possible for TSA. Supposedly, Chap-stick is a liquid and shoes are the biggest threat to our country since Islam.
- In customs, when asked “do you have any fruits/veggies/meat with you” it is rude to answer “Just in my sheiße. I think I'll opt for the cavity search”
- It’s rude to ask the person searching your bag to smell your shoes and guess what sport you play.
- It’s not rude, however to stick a lube-covered condom bag in your backpack and make them fish it out because you “forgot” to put it in the plastic bin separately. That’s fun for all involved.
- Also, put your turban in your backpack, unless you’re into cavity searches... it gets kind of racist here.
- Yes, they can see you naked with these scanners. And you can say no, but the result is far more degrading than just taking the nudie pic for the fat man in blue.
- The N-word, K-word, C-word and S-word are all off-limits again. this only flies if the country you’re in doesn’t contain any (EX Germany, Poland, etc.)
- No beer on the streets or in cars (not even golf carts, this country sucks)
- No smoking pot in public (California/Vermont/Nevada excluded) SUBNOTE: We pass to the left in the states. In Australia the rotation is to the right (counterclockwise)
- No dropping E in public
- No coke in public (Miami excluded)
- Prescription pills are okay. Actually, they’re compulsory.
- Remember to tip, UNLESS your waiter/bartender/hooker/bellhop/driver doesn’t speak English, in which case you are teaching them a valuable cultural lesson.
- Actually, tip everyone. Just throw money out of your pockets at all times. I recommend using Change because it has more impact (right, Obama?)
- If you don’t have money, use your credit card to get cash back. Who cares if you’re in debt as long as everyone’s happy!? This is why everyone loves America.
- Justin Beiber is cool here. You don’t have to hide it anymore, you’re in the land of the free. (We don’t know he’s Canadian yet) If you’re male, you’re expected to hyperbolize your love for him. Getting that swooshy haircut where you have to flip your hair every 15 seconds is a sign of high status in the social food-chain.*
- You don’t have to pretend to like French people anymore.
- Practice your Spanish, but forget all the other ones. Knowing Spanish makes you appear well-informed and compassionate to the help... but in reality there’s not need to speak anything but English.
- Stay off Grindr. You know people here, and they recognize your faceless torso (or whatever it is you’re putting out there)
- Make friends and strangers sit through your 4 hr travel-photo presentation, including those 200 fuzzy pictures of the moving lights you took on that weekend in Amsterdam. Make sure to embellish how much fun you had.
- Public nudity is not okay (Miami Beach excluded)
- Sex in airport bathrooms, frowned upon (although a great way to pass your longer connections...)
- Water sports, rubber, leather... not big here (Kidding! We practically invented that shit... in a way similar to the pizza or hamburger)
- The brown stuff, surprisingly not as popular as in Germany
- Being a big homo is just being a big homo here. You can’t play it off as “European Style” because in the USA we call those people homos too.
- Pedophilia rules still apply.
- Although carrying a gun is not recommended, NEVER assume that person next to you doesn’t have one on them.
- I’ll repeat: NEVER fly US AIR
I’m far too jet lagged to be any more upbeat in this post. I’ve missed my connection (on guess which airline, again!) and may not get to Milwaukee tonight. If all goes well, I’ll spend less than 24-hours in transit (3 of which will most likely be in the bathroom)
*Little known fact: some countries (EX Sweden) require you to have a Beiber Fever vaccination before they grant you a visa