Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Welcome to 3rd World USA

I have to say I hate the term, but it is the best way to describe my day.
Don't think I am going to bash my beloved country...not exactly.
Let's start from the beginning.
I woke up in beautiful frozen Rhode Island early, SUPER early 3am, got ready and drove to the Airport.
Checked in at Providence TF Green Airport at 5:20am for my 6:30am flight to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
I have lived in this country for many, many years, 10 years in the Boston area alone, if you reading my blog you know details.
Honestly I am still impressed with the efficiency of services and transportation here just to name a few.
The state of Rhode Island just built an awesome train station right at the Airport with a beautiful glass moving side walk connecting a gigantic Parking Garage to the Airport, all enclosed and heated thank you very much...
The Airport already had an amazing amount of parking space in it's many concrete Garages around the Airport, a great infrastructure, for an area that is always snowing or raining, the comfort of covered Parking is priceless.
PVD ( Providence International Airport ) is a very small secondary Airport just 38 miles south of Boston Logan and it amazes me to no end that you find 10 times more decent Parking at PVD than at the Sao Paulo International Airport, a main hub for International travel in Brazil and a real nightmare for Parking, if you live in Sao Paulo you know exactly what I am talking about.
How can Providence and Tampa have HUGE Parking facilities when Sao Paulo, a city of 18 million has a small patio like area for parking. Well, the fact that Brazilian Airports are owed by the government explains part of it.
In the US it is almost all Private money making investments where it makes sense.
Back to the beginning of my day...
We had to sit at the Tarmac for a long while because it was Snowing and our plane had to be Defrosted...
At the same time we watched a line of about 80 dump trucks being filled with snow from the run ways, see, we have had so much snow since Christmas that they need room to push new snow in and clear the runways...no biggie, I had taken off in much worse snow storms, in the Boston/Providence area they have great infra-structure/equipment at the Airports and they only really run into trouble and shut down for a few hours if you get more than a couple feet, yes, I said feet, of snow. I know you folks from Georgia and Texas are thinking feet? Yes, I know, Airports in Atlanta and Dallas come to a complete stand still if they get half an inch of snow. Their method of clearing the snow if my favorite, they wait until the weather gets warmer to melt it away.
We watched ( and laughed ) when London got mere 4 inches of snow just before Christmas and people had to sleep in the Airport for a whole week...What the hell people, buy some plows and snow tires for your freaking trucks and call it a day.
Just yesterday Gil was sharing with me the most fascinating fact. All of the SALT used in the Northeast during the winter comes from GIGANTIC deep underground SALT MINES that are located right under the city of Cleveland, YES, you heard me right, I would think some Florida or California coastal community right? No, freaking CLEVELAND, Ohio, it is from a dried up underground ancient sea that used to be there millions of years ago, how cool is that?
Ok, back my day, if you know me, you know I side track like noboby's business ;)
Plane de iced, we take off, flight is good and uneventful, besides the usual idiotic young parents with the out of control 2 year olds...I came prepared, plugs in ear, face mask, neck pillow, Tylenol PM, I was gone for the 3 and a half hour flight between Providence and Ft.Lauderdale.
We land and I wake up with the actual touching down of the plane, I was out the whole time.
When I took my face mask off, I was suddenly blinded my the freaking strong SUNNY south Florida morning...it figures I completely forgot my sunglasses, I have barely seen the sun since sometime before Christmas, it's either raining, snowing or cloudy, don't feel sorry for me, that is the way I love it.
Ok, I recover from the semi blindness state just in time to walk out of the plane into 81 degrees, OUCH!
I came from 25 degrees this morning...so I quickly adapted and the town car was already waiting and ready to take me to my meeting.
On the ride, I had a chance to glance at the local newspaper just to find out that Crime Rates in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami have been soaring recently and have surpassed DETROIT!!!! I know, my thoughts exactly...!!!
Welcome to the 3rd World.
Just for the record, the Miami and Ft.Lauderdale areas have 70% of the population who don't even speak English...that pisses me off to no end.
You go to a bank of America and a semi-neurotic Cuban speaks to you in a 200 mile an hour Spanish that really sounds like a machine gun.
Remember how Seinfeld used to portrait the Hispanic Gay couple, he wasn't exaggerating. I swear, you have to be here to believe it.
CULTURE SHOCK!
Good news is that my 1 hour meeting turned out to be 15 minutes and it was total success.
No problem, I flew 3 and a half hours to get here and take care of business, and it was great. Done.
Back to the Airport.
My Town car was schedule for much later, so I canceled it and called a cab to zoom me to the Airport and see if I could catch an earlier flight back to Providence.
I felt like the Gringos complaining about catching a cab in the 3rd world and being ripped off...
I used to live in the Miami area and know exactly how much a cab costs, I was going 3 exits on the highway to the Airport and my fare shouldn't cost more than 8 or 9 dollars.
The literally stinking Haitian Taxi driver pushed some buttons on his Taxi meter and before we drove a couple of miles of I-95 I noticed the meter going up very fast already above 10 dollars.
I asked him what was wrong with his meter, how come it was going up so fast...????
He replied in very broken English that I could barely understand:
-If you don't like my meter, I can drop you off right here on the side of the highway...!!! What is it gonna be???
I remembered on my way to the office reading about all the corruption and out of control crime surging in Florida right now and decided to shut my mouth and fork it over the 37 dollars for the 5 mile trip.
I am not xenophobic at all, I understand we as a country need immigrants to keep our economy thriving and vibrant, but sometimes, I wish the US was a little bit more tough and or selective with immigrants.
Some Hispanics in Florida treat you like garbage if you don't speak Spanish, heck, I am fluent in Spanish and I am treated poorly very often.
There is a big controversy going on in Massachusetts right now because some Muslims are suing the state because they feel there children have been offended to have to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, WHAT???????
Are you kidding me???
Offended?
Drive to Logan and go back to the miserable dictatorship you just left behind and leave us alone, otherwise it's time to hurry up and Americanize yourself.
If you want to be here, respect the culture you choose to live in, respect the country that have welcomed you in a time of need.
Just for the record, I have nothing against Hispanics, Haitians or Muslims in general.
Just the neurotic Cubans who are rude to me when I visit Miami, the thug stinking Taxi Driver I had today in Ft. Lauderdale and the idiotic Muslims who are suing the Massachusetts School system.
Sorry, folks, my style is more positive posts than this heavy complaining stuff I am venting out about today...but I just had to share this with you guys, plus I am sleep deprived, super tired and mentally stressed.
If you are from the US you probably understand what I am talking about, but Brazilians who have a Disneyland/Hollywood image of the US and cannot believe we are a country with problems, conflicts and crap just like everyone else.
They need to read about this to understand a little bit more about the realities of living in the US.




Ray  

7 comments:

SN said...

Ha- I totally get you :) The US is not all flowers and bubbles. We have problems just like every country. Bad days happen and you shouldn't have to be positive everyday just to risk hurting someone's feelings. Hope tomorrow goes a little better as you re-integrate yourself back to civilization!

Sara

Luasol (Jane) said...

The US is far from perfect! My husband lived in Florida for 9 years and he said he had to learn Spanish to get around. He also mentioned, Liberty City, as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. I heard cab drivers don't like driving through there. I imagine its not any more dangerous than Linha Vermelha (before Complexo do Alemão was pacified). I have been to the Miami Airport, and I found the workers there to be very rude. I realize it's a busy airport, but good lord. I can't generalize, because I have not spent time in Miami. Don't feel bad about venting!:) Every country has its good and bad.

Gil and Ray said...

Dear Sara,

Thanks for the words of support.
I am already home, the day got progressively much better, it's snowing and 20 degrees outside, we have the fire place going, Gil is working on his PC, Okie is laying of the rug working on his bone in front of us and I am getting checking emails and messages on the laptop under my favorite snuggy, life is perfect again :)
I broke my own rule today, I believe the positive atracks positive and negative might atrack negative, so I avoid being negative as much as possible but today I had to vent...and I am glad it's over.
It got better by the time I got to Orlando on my change of planes...Orlando is still Florida and oh so different, even at the Airport, starting with the fact that people speak English and smile, is that asking for too much?

:)

Ray

Gil and Ray said...

Dear Luason Jane,

Thanks for your comment and support!
I am with you, no excuse for Miami Airport's rudeness, every Airport is busy, come on!
Geez, I would never think Liberty city is way the heck up there in the woods almost border with Georgia... :(
By the way, I love Rio and never allowed fear to get on my way of enjoying the city.
I have great friends and even family living in Rio and visit them every chance I get :)


Ray

Jim said...

Yikes - when you go negative you don't hold back. Remind me not to rub you the wrong way! ;-)

Gil and Ray said...

Jim,

I know, I got scalded by Gil, my mother and my brother within 5 minutes of posting this...
I was called a xenophobic, racist, politically incorrect and worse of all, Gil said I sounded like a typical bitter Republican...
That hurt me the deepest ;)

Jana @ Paper plains said...

Woah, what a mess. 37$$$?? for 5 miles? I wonder why the crime has gotten so bad recently, had no idea it surpasses Detroit?! Crazyness... but yes the US certainly isnt perfect... hope you made it back quick and back to your nice little R.I =)