We flew out of Buffalo, New York to New York City because our travel agent made a mistake and overbooked the airline that we originally wanted. We had never been to the Buffalo Airport and we were not comfortable to drive around Buffalo at 3 o’clock in the morning to look for the airport. The travel agency agreed to pay for the round trip shuttle buses to and from the Buffalo airport as compensation. I was not happy about the idea of crossing the border early in the morning, either. Any delay at the border could create another unnecessary anxiety for me. This was supposed to be my relaxing vacation, but at that point, after the hassle with the hotel booking and the overbooked flight, I was not ready to deal with another problem.

 We had never flown out of Buffalo, so it was a new experience. The shuttle bus picked us up at 4:45 in the morning, later than I thought. The US-Canada border was already busy at that time. Thank Goodness that we did not have to wait too long at the border to deal with the immigration/custom officer. Our time was very tight. Due to the airport security, we had to be there early for the security checkpoint. It was easy to cross the border, but the nightmare started at the airport. The airport was full of Americans and Canadians who were flying out for their March Break. The lines at JetBlue were long, too long. The flight to New York City was absolutely jam packed. We were quite surprised that people would start their March Break vacation so late like we did. We just did not realize there was another reason why people were travelling to those major destinations such as New York City.

 It was interesting to go through US custom security checkpoint. We had to take off our shoes, bracelets, jackets and heavy winter parkas. (We did not have to do that when we flew back to Taiwan last summer.) When I walked through the gate, the alarm SUDDENLY went off. It was my metal-studded belt! After I took off my belt, the coins, and then my watch, the alarm went off again and again! What now? I was not ready to go to the little room to strip for the search. Finally, one officer told me that it could be my hairclip. My clip was made of plastic! Well, the culprit WAS my hairclip all right! The little metal clamp part of my hairclip triggered the alarm. That was just too ridiculous!

 Don’t get me wrong. I was happy that they were so thorough about the airport security, so I didn’t have to deal with any crazy nuts like “the shoe bomber”. Anyway, the returned trip was pretty much the same with the security. It took me a couple of times to walk through that sensitive gate. The culprit was always the little hairclip. Next time, only elastic bands will be used for my pony tail. NO more hairclips for me when flying!

 We finally got to New York City at 9:30 in the morning. The weather couldn’t be more gorgeous! I had a good sleep in the airplane and was ready to ramble. The JFK airport was not as busy as I had expected at that time in the morning, but it was definitely full of people wearing GREEN. Well, that would be another story.

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My Corner for Education

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