A few years ago, Amy and I took a road trip down to Florida to visit Disneyworld and meet some of my Imaginary Friends (the term Amy coined for the people I know solely via the internet). Â We crossed the border at Buffalo at about 5:30am as we were driving a very, very long way and wanted to avoid some of the day’s heat in our un-airconditioned Toyota Echo.
Since we were Canadians, we barely slowed down through customs on our side of the border, paying only the bridge toll and receiving a friendly wave from the customs official. Â Canada customs gives a really good impression to most people who are coming into our country. Â They just seem to be happy to see you and they really want to know if you’ve got any fruit.
The yankee side of the bridge was a different story. Â It’s always the third degree: WHERE ARE YOU GOING. HOW LONG WILL YOU BE THERE. DO YOU HAVE GUNS. Â DO YOU HAVE ALCOHOL. DO YOU HAVE TOBACCO. DO YOU WANT SOME I HAVE SOME HERE.
Our guy was kind of annoyed. Â I’m not sure if that was due to living in Buffalo, him starting his shift really early in the morning or having worked all night. Â Hard to say. Â Likely all three. Â We stopped at the line marked ‘stop’ and I rolled down my wind for the interrogation.
“WHERE ARE YOU HEADED.”
“HOW LONG WILL YOU BE THERE.”
“About a week.”
“ARE YOU FLYING OR DRIVING.”
Now this took me a minute. Â It hadn’t occurred to me that Â people would drive across to Buffalo airport and fly to other parts of the US. Â We actually did this in 2006 or 2007 to go to a wedding in Galveston, Texas. Â At the time though, it took a whole lot of self control not to say “What does this look like, a Cessna?” Â I answered “Driving” after giving him a look that, had the light been better, would have resulted in several hours of detainment and possible inclusion on the no-fly list at a bare minimum.