03 October 2008

le vieux, c'est le nouveau.

what's old is new.

i dunno where that title came from; i've just been thinking about random things lately.

something random that just popped into my head is that how much i really miss my old passport.

the picture in that passport broke the ice with customs and immigration agents around the world, because i stopped sporting a curly fro about two weeks after i had the photo taken. since then, i've either been bald or plaited or balding. but passport photos stick with you for ten years, and whenever i travelled... people just stared. and giggled.

and then they let me in their country. [i actually ended up going on a date with the guy who stamped me in the weekend i arrived in johannesburg in november 2001.]

however, the antepenultimate time i used this passport almost turned out to be a disaster. i popped to the dominican republic for a few days, as you do, because i wanted to be out of dc for memorial day weekend. that's "black gay pride" weekend, for those that don't know. now, i'm extremely proud to be black, and can't imagine myself to be anything but gay [even though i can say with some certainty that i've been with more women than most of the "straight" men reading this], but at the risk of sounding homophobic [and to be honest, i don't particularly care if i sound homophobic, but still], i'm not a big fan of large numbers of feminine and effeminate men in one place. sorry. that's just not me. so during the estrogen invasion, i normally leave town.

so, like i said, i popped down to santo domingo for a few days to just chill. i get to passport control and the lady says, "lo dudo" which means "i can't believe this mofo is trying to come into the country on some doctored shit" of course, she lets me in, doesn't say anything to me, and i go off to my hotel. she was asking me all types of fucked-up questions, too. i knew my hotel had a bit of a reputation for being where rich westerners picked up young locals, but it was cheap, so that's why i was staying there. instead of writing the name of the hotel down to get out of her disapproving gaze, i had written down the street address of the apartment building across the street and said i was going to visit some friends from high school. saying [$HOTELNAME] would have been saying "i'm coming down to the island to have some hot sex with lots of random bredrins" -- which is what i was there to do, but this heifer didn't need to know it.

anyway, a few days later, i go to leave the rep dom, and i get pulled over and taken into a small room, where my mother, race, and family are being insulted, but in spanish -- dominican spanish -- and my spidey sense says that i should pretend that i don't understand them. then the guy says to me in english that there was an issue that they thought my passport was fake. i already knew this, but i turned into super gringo. but it was a really bad time to show that i could speak a little bit of spanish.

i guess it would have been good if i spoke spanish like a gringo or a gallego instead of, well, with a clearly caribbean lilt. i would still be in jail today if i had done the latter.

but yeah, i'm glad for the digital passports. i'm not feeling the rfid ones, though [mine isn't, but my mother's new one is.]

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