Monday, April 10, 2006
When we go to the airport, we usually park in the "VIP" parking lot directly across the street from the exit. This has been a very nice perk, and especially helpful when large teams of people with lots of baggage arrive. I've always wondered why or how we're allowed to park in there, but last week it became all too clear. Once again, I can thank the infamous Eddie for setting me up.
I was standing in the "VIP" lot trying to make a phone call (unsuccessfully, of course) and dissuading an enterprising young man trying to wash our truck (that I had just washed). One of the airport "redcaps" started talking to me through the fence. It was "Big." And yes, he is big. I'm not sure what his real name is, but everyone who has ever been through the airport here knows him. We met him during our adoption, and he's been hard to shake ever since. Anyway, he was hollering at me and making sure I knew that he's "the man" and he'll help us out and he's the boss of the airport and on and on. I was just trying to keep smiling and telling him that I had help already, no thank you, yes I know he's "the man", etc.
The man who always opens up the gate for the parking lot for me came over to rescue me. He is always happy to see us (due to some palm-greasing) and lets our trucks right in. He proceeded to yell at Big and demand that he not bother the VIP's in "his" lot. He asked Big if he knew who I was.
(By now I had given up on the cell phone and was really curious as to what was happening here. Who was I anyway?)
Big said, "oh, yes, he's my friend, I known him for long time". And the lot manager said, "Oh, no, you don't know this man. You don't bother him. He's with the Canadian Embassy. He's an ambassador from Canada. This parking is for diplomats like him."
Well, I started looking around hoping to see someone else, but no luck. I started trying to figure out how this guy became so misinformed, and then I realized who lined up our access to the VIP lot. Thanks Eddie. He helps us with a lot of things, but I'm starting to wonder about his methods.
I didn't have the heart to correct my new friend, I was scared to disappoint him now that he thinks I'm such a big deal. Ok, and I really like my parking spot. Now I'm torn though. Was he just saying that to get rid of Big, or does he really think I'm with the Embassy?
Do other ambassadors drive beat up old pickup trucks with cargo cages on the back? Do most Embassy employees wear work pants/shorts and T-shirts when conducting official business? If so, then call me ambassador. I'll see you at the airport. Look for me with the VIP's.