Before V went to the trouble (believe me) of getting her 10-year multiple entry visa she used to have to go TWOV − Transit Without Visa − when flying to Guatemala with a US connection in Miami or Houston.
On one occasion she found herself locked in a stand-off with the Immigration official asigned to shadow her at Houston. He refused to speak English and she refused to speak Spanish. He got very worked up about this, she later reported: "Por qué NOOO??....no te gusta hablar español...?"
It's my choice she insisted, "this is America and I choose to speak English."
Neither budged from their position so they spent a generally silent hour or so in each other's company with one or two curt bilingual exchanges. When at last they approached the gate, V turned and asked him if he had ten cents. His eyes flared with incredulity at this apparent final act of impudence, she related with a giggle.
"Por qué?" he hissed.
"Because that machine over there just swallowed my $2, but if you add your ten cents you can have yourself an ice-cream". Off he went with a parting smile of resignation.