Day one: Coming home

I was in for a small surprise upon entering the airport. I already know that Toronto Pearson International Airport is really big. For the past few years, it seems like they are always reconstructing that place, which doesn’t always make it too appealing to look at. Frankly speaking, it always appears as if this city is under construction! As I often overhear, Toronto has two seasons: the construction season which begins from April/May to November. And that’s basically where the winter season unofficially begins. So it is often quite annoying on the highways especially. Although it is a very beautiful city, sometimes the view can be convoluted with large cranes instead of the beautiful skyscrapers. I’m just saying. I mean residents like myself know that if construction doesn’t happen, our beautiful city will go to shreds and nobody wants that.

What I noticed as I walked through customs was the large quantities of computers. These are replacing actual officers! Citizens (only citizens) are directed to use these computers to process ourselves. We simply walk up to one of these computer and instructions are printed in bold letters for you to follow. Pictures are used to demonstrate how passports need to be placed so that they can be scanned. When the computer reads who you are, it asks for your declaration form. Again with pictures, it describes where these forms need to be placed. If you are successful, the form is then copied and returned to you. Wow! Technology at it’s best. I then proceed to an actual officer who takes the form. At this point, you are sent on your way to claim your bags, but as for me. I was carrying food – mangoes to be specific. So I had to join another line. Five minutes later, I meet upon another officer. A smile would have been nice, but needless to say I didn’t pay for it so I shouldn’t expect it. A demanding hand expects me to place the form directly in her hand at her request. These custom officers are really annoying me and why should the goal be to intimidate? The arm returns a stamped form to me and I take it and leave, without so much as a thank you. I felt it wasn’t deserve, more so because a “you’re welcome” would not have come afterwards. I suppose it’s natural everywhere to accept coldness at the borders or airports.

The bags did not arrive yet, so I took the time to contact my ride from the airport and listened to messages. I also used this time to take a bathroom break. Upon my return, suitcases were floating on the conveyor belt ready to be removed. I saw mine the moment it popped out and I let it float towards me. In no time, I arrived at the doors to exit the airport. “I wonder what the weather is like” I heard someone say. I hadn’t gotten that far to think about Canada’s temperature at this point. I was still caught up with “hot thoughts” about my journey to Jamaica. I spot my friend ready to pull over at the gate number I told her- #34. Yes, the gates are numbered so no one will be confused at this large airport. But as I was proceeding and waving my hand to get her attention I noticed an officer wearing his neon vest directing her to keep going, as not to park and block traffic. But when she pointed me out, he allowed her to park and moved unto flagging down other drivers for parking and waiting. “What a job!” My friend came out to help me place my luggage in the trunk of the car and in no time we were leaving the airport. When I think about it, I don’t recall seeing any construction going on. Maybe it hasn’t started yet?

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