Hot in Phoenix

 After an exhausting 24 hours of non-stop travel I've made it here to the heat of Arizona. I've been reunited with Thelma, having left her in Mexico 18 months ago, my how time has flown.

As always, dealing with US border officials is a time consuming exercise and Chicago's O'Hare airport was no exception. I joined the long line of hopeful tourists who had just got off the Korean Air flight in front of me. I attempted a few conversational gambits, but as my total knowledge of Korean is limited to "yes, no and bored" I don't think I made much of an impression on my fellow tourists.

Events in the long transit queue were enlivened by the appearance of a sniffer dog who padded along up and down the line of weary travellers sniffing our belongings. He suddenly got excited and all heads turned to look at a rather embarrased German woman who blushed as she opened her bag for the dog handler to see and produced... an apple. That's right, no stash of illicit cocaine here, just a Granny Smith apple which was immediately confiscated. No fruit can be brought into America apparently.

Immigration just about let me in- as always they look at me as if I'm a master of disguise because they have a dodgy "Tiffany Coates" on their red flag system, her real name is Cheryl but she uses Tiffany Coates as an alias. She's about the same weight as me, but as she's 6 inches shorter, I guess she's a bit more rotund than I am, she is also a different age group AND a different race, but they always call me into the office for the full interview to establish whether or not I might be her. 


The other 'tiffany'

I am becoming intrigued by her.  Perhaps she googles her alias, and led here, becomes fascinated by this blog, returning time after time ... I know I do! She decides to reinvent herself as an upright, long-distance traveller.  In my imagination she already has a taste for weak, black tea, and, eschewing all and any dodginess, you two meet by chance, bonding over a shared tea bag ...

.. seriously though, good luck with America and come home safe!


How many Tiffany's?

Having eventually joined Facebook and looked for myself, there appear to be maybe a hundred Tiffany Coates's on it. I think I may be the only motorbiking one. Maybe my immigration nemesis is on there as well.