Dont Crosson July 29, 2013 at 11:57 pm
Now, I did a make pretend comic about my border crossing and I blogged an abridged version of what actually happened on the Canadian border and though this comic IS slightly exaggerated, it is the whole story.
The funny thing about crossing the border for the first time is that it makes you feel like you are doing something wrong even when you’re on a totally legal voyage. Everyone warned me to just lie about what cargo I had and what I intended to do with it. I, foolishly, decided to be honest. To be fair the border guard was an attractive woman in full body armor and a steely gaze. I felt that she looked directly into my soul. I mentioned that I was going to a convention and had prints and exactly how much I had and for what I was join got sell them. She then directed me to pull over to the commercial lane, after more than a few sighs and admonishing comments about “rules set in place for crossing the border for a reason” and what not.
I then was pulled out of line and directed by two more very bored border guards to the commercial lane where another attractive, yet stern woman directed me to “get out of your vehicle and come inside” to which I replied “do I leave my care here and just get out?” She then very angrily scoffed, “No, park first!” (She was disgusted that I was not, in fact, psychic). I then parked and was about to walk into the only door I saw on the imposing concrete building (which was the guard post door. It would’ve been really bad if I had tried to open that door), when a kind construction worker pointed me down a hidden gravel path that lead to the actual entrance (I am not exaggerating this part at all).
Once inside the paramilitary installation, the two large and mustached guards behind a bullet proof window were quite bothered with the fact that they needed to talk to an American and that I couldn’t relay all information they needed to them in a nanosecond. I finally relayed all the necessary info and they couldn’t keep from chuckling every other word in light of my difficult situation.
They would not let me throw or give my prints away. I said, “Well I won’t sell them then, I’ll just give them away at the con” to which they replied, “How would we know that that was true?” Now, I didn’t want to push my luck, so I didn’t say what was on my mind; “How would you know either way?” They said I could file for a code that would take up to 3 days to process, so that wasn’t an option. The only option I had was to go back to America. They did give me a piece of paper telling the US border guard the situation so that no more problems arose.
Once back in Detroit (yeah, I crossed over at Detroit) I found the only parking spot in the entire city and called my wife to see what she thought I should do. There were a few heated exchanges and I landed on sending the prints across the border overnight. You may wondering “Why didn’t you just turn around and try to cross back over and NOT declare your prints?” Well, I’ll tell you. They specifically told me NOT to try that because my license plate had been entered into the computer and they would know.
At this point I have sent the prints over the border and added $240 to my trip and am somewhat nervous to try a return trip. So I man up and head back towards the Great White North. It’s finally my turn at the guard booth (Different from the first I should clarify) and the young man inside didn’t even ask me about anything except what I was doing in Canada and how long I was staying. I COULD”VE JUST LIED AND SAVED $240!
So this, ladies and gentlemen was my first experience with Canada. May your journeys go more smoothly.
P.S. They never probed me physically though they did used there authority and words to abuse me mentally.