Thursday, July 22, 2010

With fear and trepidation …

….. we approached the border yesterday afternoon.  When Alison and Camiel asked me to do some work for them in the US my first question was how it would be possible for a Canuck such as myself to work in the US.  Not a problem they assured me.  But after our ordeal last November I wasn’t so sure. 

We’ve been in a mad scramble ever since arriving back in Saskatchewan.  We ran around the perimeter of the province, bought the famous house in Buchanan and then zipped over to Calgary so I could get in some training ahead of the Stampede.  Then I spent most of a day in the Growsafe booth at Stampede before we headed back to Regina.  When we got to Regina I had a vehicle safety done on the Exploder and of course they found a list of things as long as my arm wrong with it.  So we left it in the garage and headed off for our reunion weekend.  When we got back to Regina on Monday the truck was ready to go and I hung Saskatchewan plates on it again.  The bus still has BC tin and will have to stay that way until I figure out how to get frog glass from Quebec to Nipawin for some reasonable cost.

Meanwhile Alison had sent my “travel documents” by UPS from Airdrie to the UPS store in Regina.  Nothing could go wrong with that plan right?  UPS truck delivering to a UPS store.  Some nitwit in Calgary decided that they couldn’t deliver to a box number even when that box number was in one of their own stores so the package stayed an extra day in Calgary until Alison could get her hands on it to cross out the box number.  The little terrorist guy who runs the store in Regina is happy to receive my mail with or without my box number.  So that put us another day later leaving Regina which wasn’t all that big a problem because I have 30 Palliser files that I needed to at least get organized so I can start visiting them as soon as we get back from the US trip.

Then in the middle of Tues/Weds night I woke up worrying about whether the damncat had all his shots up to date.  He didn’t so Marilyn dumped yet another hundred bucks into his miserable furry hide in order to ensure that he won’t infect all the US of A cats with some dreaded CCD (Canadian Cat Disease). 

All that activity combined with a few visits to father and a couple of grocery runs left us leaving Regina around 2:00 yesterday afternoon and arriving at the Port of Regway/Raymond around 4:00.  We expected a minimum of a 2 hour crossing and likely much longer.  I was not at all sure that we would get across at all. 

Where you going? What are you going to do?  You’re going to work?  Where are you going to get paid?  Take your hat off.  (my beard was confusing him because my passport photo is beardless)  Then he read Alison’s letter and asked me to open the door.  I can’t recall a customs nazi ever boarding any vehicle with us in it.  I can remember standing out in front of the bus watching through the windows while they ransacked it but this guy just marched onboard and went directly to the fridge.  Marilyn had her list of vegetables in hand but he never asked her anything about what we had.  I think he spent longer rooting around in the fridge than he did reading Alison’s letter and then he said “have a nice trip”.  All in all less than 5 minutes.

1 comment:

Wil said...

As a mid-Maine resident with lots of Canadian acquaintances, I hear a lot of horror stories, so I appreciate your trepidation. Must have caught them on a good morning. Or, perhaps, you got someone with common sense, born and bred in the West, who takes things in stride. Who knows? Just damn glad you had a far less stressful crossing. Perhaps Officer McMillan is harassing the chullos at Nogales these days.