Thursday, January 18, 2007

Come ON, People

Right before I left on my cruise, my aunt asked me if I had a passport. Of course, I replied. I have studied abroad. I would like to be prepared in the event that I A) need to leave the country in a hurry, or B) find some incredible, last minute travel deal that is too good to pass up. Neither of which have occurred as of yet, but one never knows.

Apparently with all of the DHS and TSA and other annoying acronym-using agencies trying to weed out the terrorists, they are cracking on people coming in from Mexico and Canada who, until yesterday, could come in with their birth certificates. And these are only the people who are flying - everyone coming by car or bus or boat (presuming they are coming legally, of course) can still use their birth certificate or driver's license. All the experts are worried about the impact it will have on tourism, because passports are apparently prohibitively expensive (mine was $60 a couple of years ago...and in light of all the 13 year olds I see with iPods, I somehow find the expense argument a little hard to swallow).

So all of this is mostly to say: SUCK IT UP AND GET A PASSPORT. I find it disgraceful that so few Americans have them (around 20%, based on the range of statistics I could find). Get off your lazy asses and pretend that you have some interest in other cultures. Or at least in cultures that allow you to have a fruity drink with an umbrella (and just so you know, if you add an "o" to the English word, i.e. a "seabreeze-o", that's not Spanish). It's much better to actually interact with people from other places, but honestly, if you will even make it to another country, even one that is so white-washed you might as well be in Disneyworld, I'll take it. You have to start somewhere, right?


Stephanie said...

I think if people can afford to travel in the first place, they can afford a passport which is another reason there is no worry that it's going to hurt the tourism industry. I just threw away the application that I had for the last year. I think I was daunted by the line that asks where and when you're traveling. My answer was "to anywhere and when i can afford it" :o) and when I find a travel buddy cause there's no way I'm brave enough to travel alone my first time far abroad.

Rachel said...

I applaud your getting the form. You have to start somewhere, right?