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Americaland! - Tactical Ninja

Apr. 18th, 2013

12:56 pm - Americaland!

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OHAI Oakland, I am in you. And I haven't slept for long enough so I can't remember how long it is. But coffee!! And exclamation points!!

Adventures so far include:

Having a heated discussion on the plane with a neurobiologist who says fluoride damages the pineal gland and also that NZ is developing a rural gun lobby akin to the US which is big into AK47s. Was actually quite interesting after we got past that part. Also, there was this interlude:

Border Control Dude: What is your reason for coming here?
Me: A conference.
BC Dude: What kind of conference?
Me: Um.. an academic one?
BC Dude: There are lots of those, what's your one about?
Me: *thinks* AWKWARD. *says* The science of drugs, essentially. Medicine, health, addiction, sociology, that sort of thing.
BC Dude: Ah, I see. So are you for cannabis or against it?
Me: *trying to shrink through the floor* Uh.. ah.. I think that the harms related to all kinds of drugs could be reduced significantly if governments considered other approaches than complete prohibition.
BC Dude: I see. What's the legal status of cannabis in NZ?
Me: It's even stauncher than here. Even medicinal use is illegal.
BC Dude: Yeah, they should just legalise it. You can go now.
Me: OH FUCK THANK YOU! *slinks away*

He was just messing with me, right? Right?

Anyway, I have also had a fantastic lunch with helianthas who is awesome and lovely and picked me up from the airport and showed me the Castro and found me good coffee and filled me with easy rambling conversation, sorted my phone, and registered for the conference, at which I was confused by the juxtaposition of dreadlocks and suits. Gonna be interesting, yup.

Now, time for a shower and to wait for it to get dark so I can try to sleep. Oh yeah, and my number is 1-510-350-6809. At least, for the next 5 days it is. I think that's how you write it, anyway. Uh..

Comments:

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From:hep
Date:April 18th, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)
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oh you are in my hood!
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From:morbid_curious
Date:April 18th, 2013 01:56 am (UTC)
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Yay :-D I like your hood too.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 18th, 2013 02:44 pm (UTC)
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Your hood is nice and has lovely weather!
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From:rivet
Date:April 18th, 2013 01:03 am (UTC)
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*kermitflail*
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From:pixiebelle
Date:April 18th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
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Oh yay! You're in my state. That conversation with the boarder agent... Wow. That would be awkward!
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From:pombagira
Date:April 18th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
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yay.. all safe and sounds in teh americas..

*skips about*
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From:thesecondcircle
Date:April 18th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
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I'm flying into San Jose for a conference on Sunday night. Looks like we might just miss one another?
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From:tatjna
Date:April 18th, 2013 02:44 pm (UTC)
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Sadly yes. I'm on a plane back to NZ on Sunday evening from SFO. Boo!
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From:thesecondcircle
Date:April 18th, 2013 05:26 pm (UTC)
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We're not even going to be passing through the same airport!
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From:morbid_curious
Date:April 18th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
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He was definitely just messing with you. Some of the subtlest humour I've heard in the U.S. has come out of border control guys at SFO. (TSA, on the other hand, has no sense of humour whatsoever.)
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From:helianthas
Date:April 18th, 2013 09:39 am (UTC)
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I beg to differ!</p>

Me: I want to opt-out.
TSA: Oh yeah? Why?
Me: Uh.... I could be pregnant?
TSA: You know, it doesn't cause any harm...
Me: Whatever.
TSA (looking at me knowingly): I know why you want the opt-out. I'll get him (points to conventionally good-looking young TSA dude) to do the pat-down for you.
Me: Exxxxxxactly!

Winks and smiles all around. (And a grouchy lady doing the pat-down. Wah-Wah!)

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From:morbid_curious
Date:April 18th, 2013 12:05 pm (UTC)
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I stand corrected! :-)
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From:bekitty
Date:April 18th, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)
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Oh hey we got marriage equality legalised. Just so you know ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:April 18th, 2013 02:44 pm (UTC)
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Excellent news!
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From:majesticarky
Date:April 18th, 2013 02:52 am (UTC)
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Neato. That is the Bay Area, CA Oakland, right? I'm not sure if there are other ones somewhere out there. My neck of the woods... well before I moved to Maryland anyway. Have you been to the US before? Hope you have a good conference!
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From:tatjna
Date:April 18th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
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Yep, that's the one. I can see a body of water from my hotel window, but it looks more like a harbour than a bay. I can also see both bridges, which is quite neat.
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From:merle_
Date:April 24th, 2013 08:16 am (UTC)
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Yeah, it's called a bay but pretty much exists for shipping. Well, and it was naturally there. But a lot of it got filled in by pesky things like airports that people don't want on real land.

"There are lots of those, what's your one about?"

Seriously? Someone was bored.

And yes, Oakland is "legalize weed" central. We have an Oaksterdam Museum and a University, and happy dispensaries that don't look too closely at your "medical card". Berkeley is even more fun; just standing outside a hair salon three people offered me free baggies.
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From:meathiel
Date:April 18th, 2013 07:18 am (UTC)
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Ooops @ border control ... guess it's quite hard to figure out to answer to these questions.
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From:helianthas
Date:April 18th, 2013 09:39 am (UTC)
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That is SUCH a great story! Lovely talking with you, too! Can't wait to hear more about the conference, my curiosity is piqued!
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From:tatjna
Date:April 18th, 2013 02:47 pm (UTC)
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<3 There are so many people here, it's quite daunting. But I'm sure I'll be fine..
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:April 18th, 2013 10:19 am (UTC)
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*lol* Wow! You got a cool BC dude! Yay for that! Way to go :)
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:April 18th, 2013 10:22 am (UTC)
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Oh, btw. thought maybe you'd appreciate my BC story. I was doing my doctorate in, well, spermatozoa mobility as it were. I went over for a conference and got the same questions. I first said "medical" and he insisted, so I said "sperm and eggs" just to piss him off. He went through my slides after that one by one. (Those were the times when you still had hardware slides for a slide projector.) It was all I could hope for not to get a cavity search after that.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 18th, 2013 02:46 pm (UTC)
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I do wonder why they're so curious. I guess their job is boring or something...
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:April 18th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
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Ha, yes, that, but also I think they are trying to filter out those nasty terrorists and drug smugglers.

I am always amazed how different appearance is for different countries. Eg, the ZZ-top-bearded nationalists you can see driving old fuel eating cars with a "southern forever" bumper sticker: The same bearded guy would be on the ultra-left end of the spectrum if you saw him in Germany. I bet that goes for so many different cultures and "stereotypes". Talking to people might be a much better clue to their intentions.
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From:sophiawestern
Date:April 18th, 2013 01:14 pm (UTC)
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In Oakland? He was definitely messing with you! :) Bay area is probably the most liberal part of California and close enough to Humboldt county. :)
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From:Will Marshall
Date:April 18th, 2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
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Welcome!
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From:tatjna
Date:April 19th, 2013 01:58 am (UTC)
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I would love to meet someone who doesn't start acting nervous and dodgy when a border control officer asks them their views on cannabis! o.O

I can just picture your conversation:

"Have you turned it off and on again?"

Mwuahahaha
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