“The roughness of New York City’s streets seeped in everywhere. At that first sublet, my Chinese roommate had invited home some guys who were rumored to be connected to the Chinese Mafia, and they ended up ransacking the place. Another time, a friend of mine named John brought a trick home, and after I’d left for work and John had passed out, the guy rummaged through my stuff, took some cash and my boom box, and for some reason cut the sleeves off my sweatshirts.” (73-4)
this makes me laugh every time, the first time being thursday on my way to a citizenship ceremony. i learned in my travels that military service, not birth, makes you a citizen in switzerland. how’s that for a country that boasts a global reputation for neutrality. here, all you have to do is take an easy test and say the oath (in english and french). to be fair, standardized tests are always easier when you’re well-versed in the language and culture they’re written in. i’m not sure how i’ve managed to avoid this thus far, but i’m glad for the opportunity, even if it meant that i had to renew my vows to a queen that i didn’t make a conscious decision to marry (i was a newborn). it was a push and pull between getting misty and being slightly offended-“congratulations, Bridgette, you’re about to have yourself a naturally born Canadian there”, “the RCMP are here to help, not hinder, not like some countries back home”, “for those of you who are chewing gums, do not stick it under my chairs”, newly robed judge joyce being called judge judy-these are all things that were uttered. it was really something to be present for 40 people from 24 countries being sworn in as canadians, and jane lynch was there in my lap.