Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Traveling Turtle

Welp! I'm back state-side, 5 months and three weeks of traveling notched into my belt, and thankfully not insanely jet-laggy. Waking up to a foggy San Francisco morning at my friend's place solidified in my head that I was back.
I hit the ground running in terms of getting back into my research, and after a day of organizing data, my friend Jessica and I went out for burritos, the divine SF Mission burrito. You all may argue over which joint is the best, Taqueria Cancun, La Corneta, Papalote, etc. but I'm just happy with a rotund, warm, guacamole-filled, super vegetarian, aluminum foil-wrapped burrito.

An Ode to Burritos

and guess what I'm having for breakfast? More burrito, two meals in one, helz ya
I <3 burritos ^_^

Re-entry into the US was.....exactly what I anticipated. After a 12-ish hour flight with two little kids behind me screaming and kicking my seat the entire way, I was herded, with the rest of the people on the flight, to customs. I was at customs for no more than 2 minutes, but that was apparently more than enough time to get into a dispute with the customs guy, who looked exactly like Teddy Roosevelt, over whether climate change was real or not. Yup, I was back in the US.

Then I had to collect my bag and re-check it for my LA to SF flight, which I would have had no problem with had they not stopped me for a "random security search". The guy pulled me aside and told me to open up my bag. I would just like to state that packing my bag had been a 3-hour long epic Tetris match, and after I unzipped my bag the security guy started grabbing stuff and dumping it onto the dirt and crumb ridden table. After he was done creating a huge pile on the table with my stuff, he told me to put everything back in....connard.

Delicately replacing my traveling treasures into my unhappily overfilled pack, I headed off to another security check. Pulling off my shoes, removing my belt, emptying my pockets, and placing everything into those standard grey buckets I was then directed into a giant x-ray machine, and afterwards patted down by a rather aggressive, large, black woman.
After all that and my flight to SF, I finally arrived home, weary from many hours of travel. Upon opening my pack discovered a note saying "Baggage security search" .....they had searched my bag again.

So, this is where I would like to ask a question for you all to contemplate. When does "security control" start invading personal privacy? Anal searches?
I agree that precautions need to be taken to ensure security, but living in the US I sometimes feel like Big Brother is taking liberties at this point.

Anyhoo, a week after I landed I was on a plane again to Seattle for my cousin's wedding, visiting family as well as the first farm I worked on when I was 17. I was so big eyed and bushy tailed at 17, now I return old and wise....kind of.

So here I close my final post for The Traveling Turtle with something that my mom always tells me, "you will never regret spending money on traveling," and I can truly attest to the validity of that statement. Another adventure come and gone....so what's next? South America I think, though I've always wanted to see Mongolia....but what about Africa......

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