Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Border crossings suck…. 10.4.11

I’ll tell you, border crossings have never been good to us and we have come to the realization that no matter what border we’re crossing, we’ll be hassled. We have learned to accept this fact and each time think ‘it can’t get any worse’….wrong. Our border crossing at Prince Rupert takes the cake so far.

We had a great sail on the ferry from Ketchikan to Prince Rupert. It was gorgeous and sunny, with nice flat water the entire trip. Though temps were cool, it was still a fantastic day. We spotted porpoises and whales and even had a wonderful worker who escorted me down to the car deck to retrieve the food I was supposed to bring on board.

We arrived in Prince Rupert around 9:00pm and got in line at the border checkpoint. We drove up to the officer who asked the standard questions – where are you from? Where are you going? How long will you be in Canada? Do you have any guns or ammo in the vehicle? Do you have any meat products? Etc… pretty standard stuff. He went to the window and wrote down on the yellow paper something and told us to pull over to secondary. No problem, we’ve done this before. The problem was what happened next!

I was rifling through my purse looking for some lip muck when an officer came walking down the walk and ordered us to step out of the vehicle with our hands where he could see them and to walk to him. Okay…. that’s weird…. Then he asked us to take everything out of our pockets and place them on the table, one at a time. Michael dumped his pockets – wallet, car key, etc. I was next. I’m sure it’s a cruel joke on me that no matter what, every time we have a border crossing it’s ‘that time of the month’ and I have tampons in my pockets.

Then he asked us to turn our pockets inside out. Then I had to lift up my jacket so he could see my waist and lift my pant legs so he could see my ankles. OK, this is getting very weird, not to mention the guy was a total ass ordering us to do it too, the world ‘please’ was not in his repertoire. He would never make it in the hospitality business.

He asked Michael if he had been drinking – no – or if he had done any drugs – no. He said he was going to go through everything in the vehicle and he needed to know if there were any drugs inside. He stressed he would be going through everything. No, no problem officer, was our response. Then he asked if we had ever been in trouble with the law. I replied no, Michael replied no, and the officer said ‘ever?!’ to which Michael, ever the truthful one said ‘well, not never!’ Oh boy, you can imagine the questioning after that. What specifically? He was most concerned whether it involved drugs and Michael finally said ‘stupid kid stuff’.

We were ordered inside to sit and wait while he rifled through the entire van. It took about 45 minutes. He came inside and asked if we were on any medications and I remembered bringing with me a bottle of antibiotics so I told him I was taking antibiotics to which he ordered me (only) out to the van. While we were walking, he asked me if I was sick? Did I have the flu? Have an illness? No, I replied, trying to figure out what the heck he was asking! I found out…

He thoroughly scoured my purse and found 6 packets of single-use Bayer aspirin and in the glove box he found a bottle of Bayer aspirin with 2 other pills mixed in (ibuprofen). He asked again if I was sick and when I responded no asked why I needed so much aspirin. Are you kidding me?! I told him it was ‘that time’ and that we were going on a vacation and I just threw them into my purse just in case. He said ‘this is exactly what we look for’ when he said there was an open bottle of Bayer with other pills mixed in and asked what the other pills were. I dumped them out in my hand and calmly explained that the two brown pills were ibuprofen/Advil and the other were Bayer. He had opened up one of the packets which were white tablets and asked why they were different from the bottle? One was tablets, one is capsules. I don’t know!??! Good grief. This is all over a bottle of Bayer aspirin that we’ve had in the glovebox forever?!

He asked whose van this was – mine or Michael’s. I replied it was ‘ours’ – we’re married! He told me to go back inside and sit back down. Then about 5 minutes later, came in the building and said only “You guys can go, your passports are on the dash”. What a jerk. We came back out to the van to find it destroyed. Everything was opened up, contents taken out, and items either crammed back into spots or haphazardly strewn about. The cooler was rearranged and left open, my purse was sitting open on the passenger seat, all the doors open.

Welcome to Canada….

I sure hope our next crossing is better. Deep breaths…. I would really like to know why it is we always get profiled as drug runners – is it the vehicle? (though our previous worst experience was in the Jeep), is it Michael’s long hair?, are we too nice?, not nice enough? – tell us and we’ll stop!!!

Jeez, with all this just to pass in and out of Canada and Mexico, I’m sure not going close to Iran!! Haha…

More to follow…


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