Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

...Give your ID card to the border guard,

(now, your alias says you're Captian Jean-Luc Picard, of the United Federation of Planets, but she won't speak English anyway.)

Last "weekend" for me was Wednesday and Thursday, and following our shocking bit of summer-in-October weather, I decided to make a run for the border. No, the other border, eh?

I learned a few things about Canadians. First of all, they really do say "Eh," even in British Columbia, though not as often as I'm told they do in Alberta. Second, the post-September 11th world, or whatever you want to call it, has changed the way that they deal with Americans at the border. Quite a lot.

This was my first time into Canada in, I guess, about seven years? I've only been there three times, I think, and in all of them they simply asked if I was an American citizen, if I had any animals or vegetables, fireworks or explosives, and how long I was staying. Then they waved me through.

This time, I got a polite, but severe, questioning from three seperate customs officials in sequence, all of whom seemed to belong to exactly the same Clone Army, with graying hair cut a few inches long and spiked with some kinda product. Not the GI buzz cut, but still.

Maybe the fact that I was a lone, twenty-something guy with little baggage, who said he was travelling up for only one evening? They searched through my one bag, which contained only bike clothes and some toiletries, and asked about what I was doing there.

Where do you live?
Where do you work?
Why aren't you working today?
When are you expected back at work?
Who are you going to see?
No, what is your friend's name?
Is he a Canadian Citizen?
What does he do for work?
Where did you meet him?
How did you meet, specifically?
Is your relationship with this "Alan" an intimate one? (I actually chuckled there.)
What are you going to be doing in Canada?
On a pedal-bike?
In ONE day?

Each of the three officials asked essentially the same string of questions, so I'm pretty sure it's SOP these days, although only one inquired about the intimacy of my friendship with Mister Iceman. YQQ --> YVR, I guess.

There was no physical search, but they did have me lift my pant legs, take off my sweatshirt, lift my t-shirt, turn around, and the like, to make sure I wasn't running some drugs. To, ya know, Canada.

Well, that took about 20 minutes, but they let me on by, so I guess it's not too bad, eh?


  • At 5:41 PM , Blogger josh said...

    have you come back yet or is that tmrw? cause thats a lot worse ime.

    when i went last year, (well, almost two now) we got waved through going there, on the way back it was similar to what you described, but worse.

  • At 10:57 PM , Blogger Andrew said...

    yeah...drugs go OUT of Canada.
    Guns go IN.
    I don't know if they search accordingly.


  • At 10:25 PM , Blogger Miriam said...

    On my trip to Canada, I was 19 (pre 9/11), and traveling by myself w/o a lot of luggage (spur of the moment). They stopped me, took EVERYTHING out of my car except for the seats (but that was on the list), made me wait a little room while I watched them rummage thru everything in the parking lot (nothing like your lime green panties being pushed aside on the asphalt to make you really have self worth). Thats about all they found, but it took 1.5 hours. I must have fit some profile of a drug or gun runner.


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