says lz, scandinavia is the only place that can make america feel like malaysia. which is probably pseudo-racist on all kinds of levels but still very true. a fact compounded by the total inefficiency of US customs when we came through JFK again. somehow that airport manages to make every non resident feel like some freshly-arrested criminal coming out of the police car. the total drabness of the immigrations counter, the sluggish speed at which everyone is fingerprinted AND photographed when most countries are satisfied with photo ID.
always the same 15+ counters with only 3 or 4 in use. by 7.15pm three planeloads of passengers had disembarked and the line had snaked beyond the snaky part of the barrier (think 200-300 people being handled by FOUR counters) yet none of the officers found it in themselves to return from their dinner break and put us out of our misery.
always the same black woman directing the queue into 3 or 4 sub-queues behind each counter (who should really abandon her banal task and sit herself down behind a customs counter if she really wanted to speed things along)
always the same tacky Welcome-to-America! video being played on the tv featuring friendly airport staff, friendly custom officers, no queues at the counters, token staff of every imaginable race, and wide smiles all around.
always the same smell of pee. Everywhere. Greeting you in the airport, in the subway, on random street corners, everywhere in port authority, in the museums, in the cabs. do they not toilet train their kids? or steam their carpets?

the things i can’t complain about is that stores don’t close at 6pm sharp, and i can get chinese take out at 2 in the morning while watching big bang theory (my brother passed me the soft copy) since those buggers seem to be perpetually scarfing down some sort of asian fare in every episode and makes one get cravings.



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