Monday, July 30, 2012

International Awesomeguy

Are you as cool as me? Probably not, but here is a quick test to see if you are indeed as cool as me:

1) Do your ears hang low?
2) Can you wave them to and fro?
3) Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?
4) Can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental shoulder?

Did you answer yes to all of the above questions? DIDN'T THINK SO.

Don't worry, there are other tests to confirm your relative level of coolness. For example, you can judge your coolness by how you're treated on a trip from Toronto to New York's premiere airport; LaGuardia.

As some of you may or may not know, Canada is a (surprisingly) sovereign and independent nation. When you travel from a foreign country to the United States, you always have to pass through both the border patrol/department of homeland security and customs. This usually occurs at your destination airport in the United States. However, there a situations in which you can clear customs and passport control before you even board the plane, at your origin. Flights from Toronto to America qualify for this role reversal probably because an airport like LaGuardia is way too cool to have the facilities for any kind of complex security zoning or passport control.

When you arrive at the airport, you're first put into a very long line for a passport check. The agents who check your passport are American, and have been trained in the mystical art of "inactive listening". My conversation went thusly:
Me: Hello
Agent: Why were you in Canada?
Me: Business
Agent: What company do you work for?
Me: (I told him the name of company)
Agent: What do they do?
Me: Ohhh well we do a lot of video solution engineering and software/hardware sales.
Agent: Who were you visiting in Canada?
Me: A reseller
Agent: Why were you visiting a reseller?
Me:..................... to resell our products

At this point, I was so taken aback at how stupid that question was that I actually began to get nervous and seriously consider that maybe I wasn't actually in Canada for work but that I was there as a secret spy for enemies both foreign and domestic...

After getting waved through, I was on my way to the security line when another agent, who was randomly walking by, stopped me and asked me the same dumb questions. I told him the same thing I told the other agent; the truth. I really can't imagine an individual who was traveling specifically for dubious reasons would, at that point, decide that the truth would set him free. But theater is theater.

I finally arrived at the security line and was appalled at how long it was. To the side was an elite line which had almost nobody in it. Since I have the highest possible status with United Airlines, which is a Star Alliance partner with Air Canada, I just assumed I has access to that line. Why? Because I am that cool. But it turns out I am even cooler than I thought. You see, that line is only for Air Canada elite members, not Star Alliance elite members. They didn't want to bother someone as cool as me with such a low class line. Cool people don't need their own security line.

After I got through my awesome security line, I found a sign for the local Canadian version of an elite lounge. Even my own coolness has limits. I knew I wasn't cool enough to NOT be admitted into this elite lounge, even though I have membership at technically a different lounge. It turns out, unlike the security line, Star Alliance lounge membership gets you into any Star Alliance lounge. And what a lounge. This lounge was so vastly superior to the typical United Club that I seriously contemplated moving to Canada.



Behold the food spread, and look at the premium liquor options! Unlimited free Grand Marnier in a glass that has been rimmed with brown sugar? No matter how you interpret the previous sentence, the fact remains that this lounge was fly as a dragon (that can fly, not those stupid ground-only dragons).

So maybe you are too cool for elite lounges, but if someday you find your coolness waning, and decide that you're actually too cool to be cool, then come get drunk in the Air Canada elite lounge at the Toronto Pearsons International Airport.

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