It’s always frightening. Mostly the U.S.A border. You see, I’m a germ. A german immigrant. Landed resident, although permanent in Canada. An alien in the usa.
We knew this particular crossing would be tricky. Last time we drove across the border to catch a flight to Hawaii, it took three hours to get a Visa. Three hours of standing, waiting in a line while zero of the booths were manned. But let’s give them a break. It was lunch time. We had arrived at 11:55am. They don’t work in shifts.
Today, a different story. Pulled up to the booth. Immediate dry mouth ensued. Constantly rehearsing our story in my head; “We bought a boat. Driving down to Florida. Driving back end of June.” The truth. Or as close to it as possible. Agent: “You’re doing WHAAT!?” Me: “We’re driving down to Florida. Camping along the way. Surveying a boat and likely buying it.” Agent: “How much is the boat? Why wouldn’t you just fly? Roll down your back window.” He gets on the radio. “Incoming 9456.” Whatever that means. Agent: “Go to secondary screening. They will have a bunch more questions there for you.” We drive. Another guy escorts us inside. Both of us are thinking this is not going well. What’s next? Pants down, bend over?
We head inside to stand in line. Our mouthes are now the Sahara desert. We suck back the water we had brought in. We watch an Iranian family get the geiger counter treatment. No racial profiling I’m sure. The agent finally gives up when he can’t figure out how to use the the thing. Some other dude gets escorted into a backroom in handcuffs. Not sure what he did. Finally we get our turn. New agent: “So where are you going?” Me: “Florida.” Agent: “What do you do for work?” Us: “We work for our own company. Consultants…” Agent: “Have a great trip.” as the wonderful ka-chunck fills my ears while he stamps and staples a visa to my passport. Saliva returns to my mouth.
We book it out of there. Get to Uncle Mikes. Open the champagne. This trip has started. This is happening!