Thursday, July 27, 2006

"Papers, please!"

Hi there.

I hope everyone is having a nice summer. You know, lots of nice trips and exciting things and such.

Things have settled down on the farm a bit since the wind turbine episode. For the most part, the summer has been pretty smooth sailing.

We did a short trip to New York. It was mainly for son to check out a college. Gah! College! Already!

We set up home base at my mom's cabin on Lake Ontario and did a day trip up to the college which is about 30 miles from the Canadian border. Waaaay up there. It seemed like a nice campus and a nice little town. We didn't get to tour buildings or anything - this was mainly a "Let's just check it out" kind of trip. We'll probably go back for one of the open house days in the fall.

And then since we were so close to the border, and since dear hubby has never been out of the country, he got it in that cute head of his to go to Canada. You know, just for kicks.

So off we go to Canada. At the border they stop you and ask to see your driver's license and please remove your sunglasses and do you have any alcohol or tobacco to declare. To which my hubby opened the glove compartment and took out a small bottle of Jameson and said "Just this. My wife keeps it in her purse." Which was true, it had been in my purse. First I was a bit mortified but then I turned to hubby and said "Just why, exactly, is it now not in my purse?" And it went like this...

Hubby: I took it out.
Me: What were you doing in my purse anyway?
Hubby: I had to get some money.
Me: So why is it in the glove compartment?
Hubby: Because I didn't think you really needed to carry it around with you...
Me: Well I do.

All the while this exchange was going on, the Canadian border patrol guy just kind of watched with an amuzed expression. I guess the cars may have startred to pile up behind us because he finally interrupted.

Me: And why wouldn't I need a bottle of Jameson in my purse?
Hubby: Well I just...
Canadian Border Guy: Ahem. Folks?
Us: Wha....?
Canadian Border Guy: So, uh, where are you headed in Canada?
Me: We don't know. My husband has never been out of the country so we decided to come to Canada.
Canadian Border Guy:...
Me: You know, just so he can finally say he's been out of the country and all.
Canadian Border Guy: Um...how long are you staying?
Hubby: Just a couple of minutes. We just want to drive across the bridge and then come back.
Me: No, we are not just driving across and coming back. We had to pay a darn toll! We're going to find something to do and then go back. (to Canadian Border Guy) What is there to do in Canada for an hour or so?
Canadian Border Guy (looking very amuzed by this point): Well, you can drive along Route 2. That's a nice drive. It will take you to the bridge where you can cross back over to Alexandria Bay.
Me: Oh that sounds nice. What is there to do along the way?

Finally he directed us to an information center where we got some maps and directions to some historic sites. Shortly after, hubby started drinking the Jameson.

While in Canada, we went to a big old mill-turned-lighthouse where there were some battles. From there, we went to Fort Wellington - another place where there were some battles. Then we got ice cream and slowly made our way to the next bridge back to the U.S. At the duty free shop, we stopped and got hubby a beaded hippie necklace as a souvenir.

The funny thing is that it's pretty easy to get into Canada when you don't really plan on going. The even funnier thing is that it's not too easy to get back into the U.S.

Scene: U.S. customs toll booth kind of thing. Ms. Quintessence in driver's seat looking at very stern U.S. Border Guy.

Me: Hi.
U.S. Border Guy: Citizenship?
Me: United States.
U.S. Border Guy: I need to see identification of all people in the car and take off your sunglasses.
Me: Oh, ok. (removes sunglasses and proceeds to dazzle U.S. Border Guy with baby blues...or not) Here, here are our licenses.
U.S.B.G.: Who is that in the back?
Me: That's our son.
U.S.B.G.: Proof of citizenship?
Me: What?
U.S.B.G.: Your proof of citizenship. I need to see passports, birth certificates or some other documentation.
Me: Uh oh...
U.S.B.G. (really not amuzed now): You don't have proof of citizenship?
Me: Um, no. We didn't know we needed that.
U.S.B.G.: It was passed into law. Everyone is required to have it.
Me: Is that something they mentioned on TV? Because we don't have TV. We didn't here anything about it.
U.S.B.G.: You are now required to provide proof of citizenship upon return to the United States.
Me: I see. We don't have any.
U.S.B.G.: You have nothing.
Me: No, no I don't think we do.
U.S.B.G.: How long were you in Canada?
Me: Oh...(looking at clock) about 4 hours.
U.S.B.G.: What?
Me: Well, maybe 4 and a half.
U.S.B.G.: 4 and half hours...
Me: Yes.
U.S.B.G.: What were you doing?
Me: Oh, we went to see a wind mill where they had a big battle and then Fort Wellington where they had other battles. My husband has never been out of the country so we decided to come to Canada.
U.S.B.G.(looking at driver's license): You drove all the way from Pennsylvania to come to Canada for 4 hours?
Me: Oh GOD no! We were visiting a college in New York with my son and we just decided to go to Canada too.
U.S.B.G.sighing, less stern, more defeated): Did you buy anything while you were there?
Me: Just that (pointing to my hubby as he leans forward to model his necklace) and some ice cream but we ate that already.
U.S.B.G.: Go on then. Just remember that you have to start carrying proof of citizenship if you are going to leave the country.
Me: Will do! Thanks!

And off we went. Laughing hysterically.

5 comments:

Kate said...

That is too funny!

D.B. Echo said...

Funny and informative! I didn't know you needed to start carrying passports (or birth certificates - "Yeah, hold on, I've got that in my wallet, next to the number of the cute stripper I met in Toronto...")!

I have a friend who is starting teaching this semester at, I think, Niagara College. His office overlooks the U.S. / Canada border. That wouldn't be where you were, was it?

tony c said...

I'm surprised your "hippy" necklace didn't win you a car search.

See, Canada has become famous for growing a certain plant that is quite popular w/ wearers of hippy jewelry.

Lots of people drive up to Montreal to buy certain seeds in certain stores that also carry necklaces and interesting looking glass "sculptures".

Jozet said...

LOL!!!!

Too funny!

Maybe next time you could show them your "Git R Done" tattoo? Only Americans have them, right?

Anonymous said...

very funny indeed. i've had some "funny" expiriences at the border too. of couse mine always included a thorough search of the vehicle, and an in depth explanation of the "zero tollerance act". and i didn't even have a beaded hippie necklace to tip them off. i guess i look like the kind of guy that would drive to toronto for seeds and maybe a "glass sculpture" or two. sparky