June 1st ALREADY!!
After a delicious veggie skillet breakfast at the Pacific Inn (oh la la, what a place!) I went outside to wait for my bus. This is the last stop the bus makes before crossing the US border which is 2 minutes away.
The driver asked the commuters, “Okay, this is my last time asking this. Do you have any fruits, vegetables or any fooooood!” He emphasized on the “food” part, I wondered about my delicious aged cheddar in my suitcase with crackers. Oh, dear!! What to do?! I did not want to throw it away since I had not even opened the packages. I saved it for moments in the hotel room at the Bellevue Hilton and if I got the munchies (which I always do at night), I would have this. Time is awaiting, I pondered and did not speak up. What the heck, it is no big deal, right?
As we approached the border and got off the bus, the driver told us we had to see the Agriculture inspector and they would X-ray our luggage. “Oh dear!!” I wondered if they could prevent me from going on my trip since they will surely see on X-ray my munchies!! What to do?!!
Everyone’s luggage was unloaded and we each had to enter the customs office one by one with our little piece of paper declaring we did not have anything dangerous or any food!!!! No seeds, especially not any Ginseng…according to the driver, we have to have a permit to carry Ginseng across the border. Really?! Wow!! Good thing I did not have my MJ Pain cream on me eh? Well, I knew I could not have that but I did not think that cheese and crackers were a big deal.
About 10 people were ahead of me. I kept contemplating. I cannot tell a lie without looking guilty and turning red with lips quivering. Oh dear!! I pass to see the first officer or agent, whatever their title is, they are BIG and IMPORTANT when one must cross the border! He certainly did not smile [I wonder if they practice looking bored and mean]…
Officer: Where are you going?
Me: Seattle, staying at Hilton Bellevue, Bellevue, Wa.
Officer: What is the purpose of your visit?
Me: Going on a retreat.
Officer: What kind of retreat?
I was thinking I should not make any jokes about it being a seniors’ nudist retreat. Perhaps that is not a very good idea. I was thinking of asking Amma for guidance but certainly asking her to protect me if I LIE!! was out of the question!
Me: Um…my guru from India is visiting Seattle this weekend.
Officer: [grunts, lowers his head]. Okay…(he hands me back my passport)
I am sort of relieved but I still had to get past the agriculture inspector
Me: [I can’t take this any longer! I am coming clean!] I do have crackers and cheese in my luggage.
Agent: That’s just fine, and what a perfect snack on your ride over to Seattle
Me: [sigh of relief…it does pay to be honest…I can’t help smiling.]
I was standing outside the bus waiting for the other commuters to get on and chatted with this gentleman who is from Seattle and was visiting his mother in Richmond, B.C. We got to talking about housing and how the market has really gone up in places like Toronto. I told him my friend in Mississauga was asking $325,000 for her townhouse and she got $625,000 instead. It was a bidding war out there. I sort of wished I had sold my condo in Toronto later before moving back to Montreal. He asks me, “Why would anyone want to move back to Montreal?” I was not too sure how to answer for it was difficult to know what his unspoken reasoning was. I just said, I am from Quebec, born and raised. He said, “But it’s sooooo cold there”. I had not thought of mentioning that today it was 28C in Montreal and it was 14 here in White Rock and Seattle. However, I knew he was referring to our winters. I could tell how we are used to cooler weather as there were several people walking along the beach path I walked this week with ski jackets, whereas I had my sweater wrapped around my waist walking along in my short sleeved shirt.
Okay, now we have boarded the bus and it only delayed us 30 minutes. Hmmm, I must factor that in the next time I travel. We may whine when we go through customs but I sure feel safer knowing security checks all our luggage though.
Two hours later, we had arrived in Seattle and the skies were slowly clearing up. I took a Lyft to the hotel and chilled all afternoon in my King Size bed. I really did not want to walk too much today but, for some reason, I thought we were at the same hotel as last year but I circling the hotel and could not recognize any streets.
I finally checked Cheesecake Factory on Google Map and was surprised and disappointed that it was 2 km away…Oh well, up the hill I went and finally turning onto another street, I recognized where I was. I got accosted by a vegan extremist for a few minutes but finally got in the restaurant.
There were more than a dozen patrons waiting in line to get a table. I asked the Maître D if there was too long a wait…nope, not if I am alone and I only waited fifteen minutes. I love travelling alone! I was seated at almost 9 PM.
My intention was to have a salad then gorge into a savoury cheesecake but the Thai coconut chicken looked so good and I did not have dessert but I did have bread. I think I appreciate it more when I hardly eat it. It was getting too dark to walk all the way back so I called Lyft and the ride only cost $3.00. On Google Map the rates are listed for both Uber and Lyft and Uber is a lot more expensive. Interesting!
Always pays – and,
Lowers blood pressure
(C) Tournesol ‘18/06/01. Daily Moments