A Narrow Escape

A shark once swam past my face while I was diving in Borneo. That was scary. Another time I was charged by an angry water buffalo in the Philippines — boy, those things can run fast when they want to. Then there was the time a Bengal tiger sniffed my knee in South Africa — for the first time in decades, I found myself begging God to please let me survive.

But absolutely, without question, the most menacing creature I have ever encountered was a woman who works for Canada Customs at Vancouver Airport. I have no doubt that if this woman were locked up overnight in a cage with a wild boar — the next morning we would find her gnawing on pork bones. I don’t know where the Canadian government discovered this woman or what kind of food she was fed during her training period — but she performs her job duties like an apex predator.

Through a series of unfortunate events I found myself in the airport Customs office, hoping to receive a refund of the $350 in Canadian taxes I had been charged for transporting a new American laptop through Canada on my way from Washington state to the Philippines. When I asked the Customs woman how I would receive the refund, she roared. I saw fangs. I was frightened. I knew then that the Canadian government had no intention of ever giving me back my tax money. The woman aggressively eyed my luggage and I realized that I should escape before she began tearing through my clothes, charging more taxes and fines and duties. Because she could. She can.

I thanked her for her help, grabbed my cart, and wheeled myself away as quickly as I could.

Then I thought about it. Wait a minute, doesn’t she work for ME? Isn’t she a public SERVANT? Apparently, that’s not how it works in Canada.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I arrived back in Manila…


2 Comments on “A Narrow Escape

  1. Dear Readers — just to be clear. Bengal tigers don’t roam in Africa. My knee-sniffing incident occurred at a tiger conservation project in South Africa…

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