A trip of shocks
First in Cebu, then in Dallas
I have been writing a series of articles about my trip back to the United States. I lived in the Philippines for nearly 20 years, and in January 2019 I returned to the USA for the first time. A while back I told you about a shocker in Cebu, where I was alerted that I was “wanted for questioning when I arrived in the USA.”
When we arrived at our port of entry, Dallas, Texas (DFW Airport), I was in for another shocker.
Our first experience at DFW was going through Passport Control. After the “questioning” warning I got in Cebu, that all turned out to be rather anti-climactic, as I spelled out in my “Shocker in Cebu” article. Everything was fine.
At the Luggage Carousel
After passport control, we were sent to get our luggage. Now, that was the first shocking experience in the United States.
So much had changed in the country of my birth during my absence. I knew things were different just from watching news reports, but this went way, way beyond my expectations.
I am not anti-immigrant (my wife is an immigrant after all), but I was so shocked at the number of immigrants working at DFW. Truly, it was difficult to find airport employees who could even speak English. It was shocking.
Getting all of our luggage took some time, and dealing with airport personnel was difficult, to say the least.
Finished with the luggage
After we finished the claiming of our luggage and rechecking it for our onward flight to Indianapolis, we headed upstairs to the main part of the airport terminals. More shocks were ahead,
The first step was going through TSA to re-enter the secure part of the airport. I found it all confusing. I had not been back in the States since before 9/11, and airport security changed a lot when the events of 9/11 happened.
I saw some airport employees just outside the TSA area and I needed to ask a question. I approached them and told them I had not been in the country for some time and I needed some clarification. They said:
What time is it?
I responded, after checking my watch, that it was 9:30 AM.
Their response to that?
Oh, we’re on break if it is 9:30 already.
OK, if they are on break they are on break, but they said it in such a vile and disrespectful manner.
Frankly, our entire time at DFW it was a period of dealing with rude people. I had lived in the South before, and always found people in that part of the country to be very friendly and helpful. Not at DFW though.
As we waited for our next flight, going to Indianapolis, I was sitting there wondering if I had made a big mistake moving back to the USA. In fact, I was sure that I had made a mistake, and I was ready to take the next flight back to Asia. I was quite worried.
Constantly Changing Terminals/Gates
Over the next few hours waiting for our next flight, the departure terminal and gate changed about 6 times! We were constantly hurrying from one terminal to another, and one gate to another. They kept us on the move.
Feyma and I had chosen Indiana as our new home. After our Texas experience, I wondered what Indiana would be like. Truth is, I had never been to Indiana before and did not really know what to expect. On top of that, I had not been in the United States in so many years, that it compiled my worries.
What would it be like? Would the people be rude? What had I gotten into?
Check back soon for my Indiana Experience.