I was about to see Sydney. I’ve been on a plane for hours. We finally landed and I could feel the presence of kangaroos- their glares from far far away. I knew this would be the best trip ever.
Then I got stopped by Australia’s border security. I was called into their awfully small and eye-burning white interview room. A nice lad by the name of Shane asked me some random questions as to why I was visiting Australia and how I planned on supporting myself. Then he started asking suspicious questions about how I do my laundry. Apparently they track that too.
“Sir, I am here to see the kangaroos and dingos. Why do you have to know how I do my laundry?” I asked, nervously. My laundry record follows me everywhere. It’s like a crime people cannot get past it. Can never forgive me for it.
“‘Mam, there is a record of your previous offenses regarding ghastly laundry methods- you have admitted in the past that you do not separate your laundry into colors and whites/light pastels. Is that correct?”
“Yes, that is correct. But I only did that in the past, I don’t do it anymore,” I tried to reassure him.
“Ok. What about your usage of hot water when washing? Do you still use hot water every-time you do laundry?” Shane asked with a serious face.
“No, sir, I don’t do that anymore, either. I learned my lessons. May I ask, how is this relevant to my stay here?” I asked, getting nauseous. I scratched my unwashed head like a monkey.
“The reason I am asking this Miss …errr.”- he glanced at my passport, “Leah, is that we want to make sure you won’t commit any of these crimes here in Australia.”
“I can assure you bad laundry habits are in my past,” I reassured him and bit off a piece of nail from my pinky.
“If that’s the case, then you don’t mind if we swap your laundry for any discoloring?”- Shane would not stop.
“Not at all,” I told him.
He left the room and was gone for probably an hour. I sat there with my head leaning against the table. I knew the outcome of the test. I have also seen the show “Border Security: Australia’s Front Line.” Once they have you in the interview room you are banned from the country no matter what you say.
Shane comes back with a disappointing look on his face. He puts a big bureaucratic pile of papers on the table and clears his throat.
“Today I have decided to cancel your visa. So what will happen from here is that we will contact an airline to–” His words became a blur. I didn’t fight it. It’s pointless. Every conversation I have with people I get the same treatment. I am the laundry criminal.
“I, Leah Rennes, am the criminal who does not separate her laundry into colors and whites/light pastels and I don’t care if I use hot or cold water. I just use hot for everything- and I will do so until the day I die because I DON’T care!!”