USA, New York, After Six Months of Being Away

Odds and Ends

How can you tell you are back? well for one thing, the minute you get off the plane, the PA system announces, Homeland Security has issued an Orange alert, all passengers must submit to security procedures, blah, blah,blah.” Posters at the Immigration desk mention Our Great Nation” several times. After you are done feeling scared, and intimidated for being an immigrant, you stumble out of the airport and look for a taxi. Several limo drivers, all of them immigrants, are milling around, one of them asks you where do you want to go, you say, Queens,” without batting an eyelid he says, Forty five dollars,” you are suddenly indignant for being mistaken for a person who doesn’t know how much it would cost to go to Queens. Another limo driver yells out, Thirty five,” your instincts kick in and you say, I’ve never paid more that twenty five,” Ok, thirty then.” Another driver, obviously Desi, interjects, You should agree to that price, it pretty good you know,” he is just interested in the haggling, he doesn’t really want the job himself. A rather handsome driver says, You have a nice haircut, you remind me of a Filipino friend of mine,” I wonder if he says that to every female passenger who gets out of the terminal. Again, he is not really interested in driving me, its all part of snatching a few moments of interaction in the middle of scrambling for a living. I finally get into a yellow cab, the Punjabi driver on learning I lived in Delhi, says that Delhi and Punjab is the same thing. I suppose you could add New York to that list. I am glad to be back.