Traveling with Asians

If you didn’t know me super well, you might think I like to travel. Those of you who know me well already did the spit-take on that idea. Bernie and I are big old crabs on the zodiac and prefer the couch to any castle or cathedral. Air travel is disgusting, and the world is still a bit unprepared for the (gasp) interracial couple. I’m used to being waved away from my family with a chipper offer to extricate me from these Asians: “Ma’am, I’ll take you over here!” But this week, traveling home from a week abroad, a French couple actually inserted themselves between me and my children right there in the security queue.

TSA checks are such an enormous stress bummer. I’ve already written oodles of times how it’s additionally fraught for the cancer-ed as a pseudo-scanner reveals our fake bits to everyone on the other side of it. But no one enjoys being berated for forgetting to take out the laptop or being an idiot with liquids while exposing feet and midriffs to surly uniformed staff and impatient (French) travelers who sigh loudly because you have children or difficult buckles or a watch. I was diligently getting all of my things in order when this over-tall and stylish couple pushed my tray back a few feet and plopped their carry-ons right in front of mine.

“What sort of brazen assholery is this?” I asked with my entire face but, you know, not out loud. TSA was blasé. TSA was probably preoccupied with the single dad ahead whose boys packed every electronic they own to go to Europe. Honest to God, Teddy brought a full size keyboard and a gigantic microphone to Barcelona.

To be fair, I don’t look my children. But it takes only 12 seconds of observation to see that I might be associated with or employed by them. Also, while traveling, Teddy is unrelenting with rhetorical questions and observations that include an introductory so Mom? so Mom? Mom? Mom? followed by a dissertation about European urinals or stage whisper wondering if that guy totally just farted or inexhaustibly explaining why his bracket is winning. You know, the sort of charming chitchat you save for your mère. But even when they are exasperating, I still hug them tight and touch their perfect faces. It should be plain that they are mine mine mine.

In June we’re going to Taiwan and probably Japan and possibly Korea–with the kiddos and my in laws. I need matching travel clothes. In the bottom of drawers all of us have I LOVE TAIWAN t-shirts. (Of course we do.) It might be a bit like wearing the ears to Disney Land, but hey, maybe it’ll keep the French from cutting the line.


Duh. They’re totally MINE.


10 responses

  1. Hmmmm. Not sure about your interracial couple comment. Maybe you should leave Brookline and the Cape from time to time. Boston is maybe the most racist city not in the bible belt.

  2. Nothing will stop the French from jumping the line. It’s in their genetic code. As someone who hates travel (not the destinations, the process) as much as you do, I sympathize. The racial thing sounds more like dumb assumptions than anything, but sure can’t make it easier. Happy travels!

    • I was so hoping you would chime in with your ex-pat experience! I didn’t want to generalize to ALL French travelers, but this nearly aggressive oblivion to queuing norms was common. I’ve never had anyone cut in front of me that close to the scanner! The racial thing is common, something the boys kind of wait for now, and is normally more amusing than annoying. But when a couple inserts themselves between me and my children, the inner tiger momma beast is awakened.

  3. My daughter and I are heading to NYC next month to see “Hamilton” on Broadway.
    Thanks to this post, I’ll be thinking of you the entire time.
    (Believe it or not, there’s room in my head.)

    • We saw it last summer… and stayed with my in laws in NYC for the weekend. In Flushing. Surrounded by Asians. It’s a theme for me.

      I kind of assume everyone is thinking of me the entire time. AM I WRONG.

      Your last 5 x 5 was too cute. Is she shy? coy? busy? One sentence answers?!? She is so stunning I guess she’ll be forgiven for brevity no matter the reason.

      • She plays a woman embroiled in international espionage; maybe she’s a method actor?
        Either way, I was just happy to have her onboard!

        Canadian actors are tough enough to get for a 5×5, to say nothing of Brits on American shows…

        And yes, everyone is thinking of you ALL THE TIME.

  4. Pingback: Weekly Round Up | Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer

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