Border Panic

I made it to the Golden State! What an adventure...
It all started with the ticket agent at Edmonton International not being able to check me in for my flight, because the computer didn't accept the fact that I'm German. No kidding! It wouldn't let her choose Germany as my home country! How weird is that? She didn't even know what to do, so she made me Danish instead and then called ahead at security to tell them why she had done that... weird... Carolyn was joking that the computer must've heard my English ;) *hihihi* so then we go to security and I had to say goodbye to Ducky, Barbie and mom and we fought hard not to cry (I'm gonna come back!!!) I joked that they should better wait to see if I'll be let on the plane with all the confusion about my passport, but border control was after security, so they wouldn't have been able to see what was happening anyways...

So, I walk up to the security officer and I'm totally emotional and high on caffeine and all I can think about is "it's really happening" when something else really happened: they wouldn't let me in. I was kind of afraid something like that might happen, but I thought I had it covered. Apparently, the J-1 wasn't valid anymore, even though I went to Lurlene and checked back with her, making sure I would be allowed back into the country before I left. Yeah, no... that doesn't really work since the term's over and I'm not a student anymore... I felt panic rise in me and all I could think was "I don't even have Barbie's phone number to tell them to come back for me!"

A little advice for future exchange students: Don't leave the country after the term is over, expecting to be let back in, visa or not. Get a "B-visa" before you leave for the states or apply for ESTA! Otherwise they might not let you back in.... I was lucky, I had very nice officers and was able to explain my situation to them - it was close, but they let me board the plane after all.

As I was standing in line for boarding, I noticed a guy a couple of heads in front of me and he caught my attention, so I thought *hm, would be nice to sit next to him* I didn't. At least not at first. But my row was empty, so the flight attentant offered another passenger to take the aisle seat :) That's right, the guy I had seen in line! Seattle Busstation flashback....

The nice company during the flight combined with the unbelieveably friendly and attentive flight attendants from WestJet (unconditional recommendation, by the way) more than made up for the whole passport-visa-confusion ;) In addition, we had beautiful weather as we flew along the Rockies. Check it out, pretty cool, right? I know, I'm a papparazzi... ;)

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