|A bit of an Oxymoron|
Now I confess that I haven't traveled to the States very often since 9/11 and I did know that these was a building sense of paranoia at border crossings but I am not sure I realized how nasty these people had become.
Most of our experience crossing borders in the last few years has been in Europe where it is pretty painless.
We got a fairly good start, drove onto the bridge, across to US Customs, looking forward to our visit. The Welcome to the United States sign seemed like a good omen but, that was before we met Dudley Doright.
We handed over our passports and were ready to answer the expected few questions about the purpose of our visit, were we bringing any alcohol or food stuffs in, how long did we expect to be in the states. Our good mood didn't last long.
The "Why are you travelling to the United States" question got fairly aggressive off the top as the border thug, who clearly had a poor understanding of geography, tried to understand why, in his view, we had gone so out of our way to cross the border where we did. "Because it is the quickest route", didn't seem to register with him.
We then got into extensive questioning about why Chris might have snapped a few photos while crossing the bridge. Apparently the bridge is a strategic bit of infrastructure and vulnerable to terrorists so, we had to scroll through all the photographs on the camera so he could make sure we were not plotting to blow it up.
Then he moved on to what Chris was studying at University. What did I do for a living before I retired? Trade union rep was not an answer he liked to hear. Have we ever been arrested?
Then we got into the drug issues. Did we have drugs or drug paraphernalia. We said no. He then pressed Chris. "You were about to say something" Were we sure we weren't carrying drugs?
We then moved on to "Open the trunk" He moved stuff around then said, is there anything here you wouldn't want me to find? "No" I answered. "What if we called the dogs out? Would they find anything?"
Finally, unable to find that big bag of cocaine or traces of THC in my shaving kit and reasonably satisfied that we might only be a minor threat to the stability of the United States and therefore acceptable, we were allowed to move on.
Welcome to the United States Indeed.
If I was a paranoid person I might think that Homeland Security reads this blog.