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Still not in the system


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When you look at the portal, you can still see my player in the Riga roster! Somebody might be wondering what is the big deal? Well, I got into trouble when Seattle arrived in Chicago during the weekend. I was pulled to the side at the airport for questioning. I don't know why. I guess I was randomly selected.


The guy who questioned me asked the basics. Where I'm from, why I'm in Chicago and for how long, etc. I told him that I play hockey in VHL. Based on the look he gave me,  the guy had no idea what I was talking about, so I told him to google the VHL portal and see the Seattle Bears team page for more information.


The guy went away for ten or so minutes. When he came back he said he could not find anybody with my name in the Seattle Bears. I was naturally surprised and asked him to check it again. He went away for five minutes. When he came back, he had pictures of my stats and player page. Everything was on the Riga page!


I tried to explain that it has to be a mistake or error of some kind. I asked if I could call somebody, but he told me that it's not a possibility. He kept asking more questions about my career. He asked how a professional hockey player can have only ten points in 40 games. I tried to explain that it's harder than it looks, but the look on his face suggested that he was not buying anything I was telling.


I started to worry a little bit. We had a big game in six or so hours. What if they keep me in there for hours and hours? Luckily around forty or so minutes after the airport security pulled me aside, Seattle management was able to get through and verify that I indeed was part of the Seattle Bears team. The security let me go and I was able to join the team at the hotel.




Guys at the hotel were laughing when I told them why I arrived late. One of the guys used Google image search to find me, but could not get anything, so no wonder the security had trouble believing that I'm an famous hockey player. For the future, I think I need to get my name out there somehow.


That experience was a good reminder that even with all the technology in the world, you can still get into trouble when traveling. I'm supposed to be a ''well-known'' figure, anybody could use Google or see that it's me by looking at the portal or some stats site. I'm Erlantz Jokinen, a hockey player. Things work differently when it comes down to security and nothing wrong with that.


We left Chicago right after the game. When we got to the airport, the same security guy who asked questions from me was working. When he saw me, he showed me the middle finger. I started to suspect that maybe he was a Chicago Phoenix fan and just heard that Seattle beat Chicago. Then again, the look on his face earlier suggested that he had no idea what VHL even is. Who knows. Traveling can be interesting.


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