Today my family and I went to see The Terminal. I enjoyed it a lot (with the exception of Catherine Zeta Jones). Tom Hanks plays a guy who is entering the States, but during his flight a coup overthrows the government in his home country, so his passport and visa are suddenly invalid. I really felt for him – in a foreign country, not speaking the language, and something’s wrong that he doesn’t understand.
When I was 11, my dad and I went up to Huaraz, a city nestled high in the Peruvian Andes. We took a bus there and back. On the way back, we were stopped by police for routine paper-check (all Peruvians are required to have their ID papers with them at all times). They went through the bus, asking each person to show their papers. My dad had his Peruvian visa, and the policeman looked at it and then told my dad to get off the bus. I was terrified, my imagination working overtime. Maybe I should explain a little bit about the terrorist activity during these years I lived in Peru. It had gotten better by the time I was 11, but bombs going off were not infrequent, and often terrorists would stop busses and rob and/or kill passengers. My friend’s dad and gradnfather were martyred by such a raid because of his beliefs. So when they told my dad to get off the bus, all I could think about was how I didn’t know what was going on, and how alone I was.
My dad came back on the bus soon after… Nothing was wrong, but they were double-checking his visa inside the building since he was a foreigner. I was very relieved. Thank God that they were actual police and not terrorists. :-)
But yeah, I can understand being in a foreign country and not speaking the language… But Tom Hanks learned quickly and soon was able to carry on conversations in English. He did much better than I ever got with Spanish. :-)
Days till Paul gets here: 2!!!