San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
Home is home. It was cool to be back, even for a brief, errand-filled week, and great to spend time with friends and family. I felt a bit disconnected at times, because US culture is so “zoomed in” to the US, and is generally apathetic/ignorant of the entire rest of the world. Which more or less works when you’re living there I guess, but when you have recent experience on other continents (let alone ALL other continents, hahahaa), it’s a little alienating. But at the same time it was also interesting, because I was looking at things as a traveler does, so I was aware of details I’m usually not. In addition to “visiting home”, I re-realized that the Bay Area was also yet another cool place to be. There’s a lot I miss, and someday, I will need to live here again.
One bit of annoyance though: Why do so many US Customs/Immigration officials tend to be arrogant pricks? Did someone think that was somehow a productive thing to do? “Hey guys, make sure you’re assholes to people coming in! That’s a big help to…uh…something!” My flight to SFO was from Tokyo. So, duh, a good chunk of the people arriving were not from the US. One strange thing that the dipshit Customs folks apparently forget, is that many people outside the US don’t speak English natively. When in addition to being pricks, they then decide to yell in fast English at these people, it makes me embarrased to no end. It’s as if after all my time abroad, they wanted to make sure I didn’t forget that the US has its fair share of douches on power trips. I get that they need to be observant and serious and diligent and secure and thorough, and that that takes time, and all that — but they just don’t need to be so arrogant and dismissive while doing it.
After clearing customs, I immediately turned to the shy, polite Japanese woman most recently yelled at (srsly!?), and said “Hi…I just wanted to say sorry about those guys. They’re just rude in general. They’re like that to us (USA citizens) sometimes too…”
She nodded and laughed and said, “Ahh…are they like that to you, in my country?”
I sighed. “No. They’re not like that anywhere but here.”
Hey, US Customs assholes: Get with it. You are the first representatives of the USA, to millions at a time. Can’t you drop the arrogant attitude, do your damn job, and move on?