Jul. 12th, 2005

lesbiassparrow: (Default)
I've been pondering this and hoped maybe an American on my flist could help me out. In interests of full disclosure I should say that I have had a wide range of experiences with American border guards ranging from the one who shouted at me for writing the wrong thing on a form to the one who wanted to talk about the Iliad - not to forget the one who by mistake took my boarding pass and then insisted he hadn't only to find it five minutes later after I began to think I was about to end up in a dark, dank hole reserved for border-crossing boarding pass losing troublemakers.

This time coming through Toronto (where you clear American customs and immigration) I presented my documents and the officer asked if I had any gifts from Ireland. I said I was indeed bringing gifts with me, whereupon he asked me to explain them. Those were his exact words: 'explain them.' Doesn't that sound to you like you're supposed to say why you bought them, going into detail about how you got that Guinness t-shirt because, honestly, you couldn't think of what else to get them, and really you had to get Tayto cheese and onion crisps for the Irish ex-pat you know because he craves them above all things?

However, I was pretty sure this wasn't what he meant so I just gaped a bit at him. He got instantaneously irked with me and said 'explain them' again in his best voice of terrifying immigration authority. Only after there was a bit of pause and it was clear I had no idea what to say did he tell me that I was being asked to give a list of what items I had in my bags. (I'm not the best at that sort of thing as I tend to buy stuff and forget about it later until I am shoving it into my suitcase or unpacking it later and realising that I bought the same person 5 different gifts). However, what I was wondering is does 'explain something' mean 'give me a list of things' in some regions of the States? I really had no idea what he wanted me to do and must have looked terribly shifty like some sort of mad smuggler, but it's the first time I've heard that expression.

Empire

Jul. 12th, 2005 10:34 pm
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
I'm watching this for the first time. It's total cheesy goodness. 'I always leave before the orgy,' indeed. Pity though that it humanizes that little fascist Octavian. Obviously they never read Ronald Syme's The Roman Revolution. And he needs to be more cunning - Octavian didn't become Augustus by being naive.

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lesbiassparrow

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