Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Things To Do In Buffalo

We crossed over the border into the USA yesterday, and whilst Canadian customs officicials have been polite and pleasant to deal with, the Yanks were a right old pain in the arse.

It transpires that when we left the USA last year, the officer at the airport didn't remove the green card from my passport, and I didn't notice. Thus when I tried to enter America yesterday, the system flashed me up as a possible illegal, for all they knew I had stayed on in the States illegaly for the past year. So we endured the best part of an hour's wait in a dismal, institutional customs office, and then had an interview with a lady customs officer who thought that smiling was right up there with child abuse.

Whitney didn't like me, at all, there was a tricky moment when she asked for our residential address in the States, I misunderstood the question and asked if she was asking for my home address, Whitney began toying with her handgun. When it transpired that we had neither booked a hotel in the States (I thought we'd just walk in to one and get a room) and we also had no US currency on us (I thought we'd just go to a bank), I did think we were about to be arrested or deported.

Eventually, and with a complete lack of good grace, Whitney allowed us through to the good old US of A, and I pretty much wish she hadn't bothered.

Here's my two point guide to how to blend in with the locals in Buffalo.....

1) Be invisible, don't go out, make it appear as if the central part of town is deserted, you know the opening scenes in London of '28 Days Later' ? Well it's like the entire population of Buffalo took it upon themselves to recreate that ambience, the place is a ghost town.

2) If you really must be out and about, then get a bottle of something in a brown paper bag, swig large mouthfuls of rotgut from it, and then hurl mostly incomprehensible abuse at passing tourists.

Residents of Buffalo, I'm sorry is I have misrepresented your scruffy, dirty old city, but right now I know two things about Buffalo, I didn't enjoy it, and I'm not coming back.

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