Saturday, September 14, 2013

an episode of border security

i always say to myself whenever i'm going home after a trip, "sad that vacation time is ending...but man, the people i'm going home to..."

sooooo.....border security went a bit nonsense on me when i came home on wednesday. canadian border security. 

the first officer i met, the one that you give your customs declaration card to before you claim your baggage, asked me the most ridonkiloustic questions. 

"are you traveling by yourself?"


"where are you coming from?"

"san francisco. i had a layover in seattle on my way here."

"what did you do in san francisco?"

"visited my cousins."

with a very grumpy poker face, "why do you go there often?"

"to see my cousins and to see the city."

"male or female?"

"pardon me?"

just douchey straight face, "your cousins, male or female?"

(**my inside voice** "does it freakin matter?!")

"why are you traveling by yourself?"

"because i like traveling by myself. less hassle with planning."

suspicious face, "you brought back $200 worth of goods?"


suspicious face with more eyebrow action, "such as?"

"clothing. souvenirs. 2 boxes of chocolate."

"for who?"

"myself and my family."

"$200 on clothing?"

"ummm....yes. and the other stuff i mentioned two seconds ago."

"are you in a relationship with anyone in san francisco? romantically."


he then encircled the $200 part and handed me back my declaration card. so i proceeded to pick up my baggage. before i exit with my stuff, i handed my card to another officer. he looked at it and then sent me to the room where they inspect your things and ask even more questions.

when i was in that room and patiently waiting for my turn, i started to enumerate any "acceptable" reason why my baggage is going to be searched. i came up with zero. coz if it's the $200 that i spent....WTH?! that's not even close to a fraction of the regulation limit of $10000. 

when it was my turn, officer #2 swabbed and scanned my things. he asked me pretty much the same things officer #1 asked....except for the male or female and relationships part. he asked me more questions while unpacking my backpack. 

"how long did you stay in the states?"

"almost three weeks."

"did you go anywhere else aside from san francisco?"

"yes. i was in new york for about a week. went to chicago and then san francisco."

"what did you do in new york?"

"i went to the US open in queens."

looking puzzled, "and you went by yourself?"

it's amazing how they seem to have never heard of single travellers before. 

"yes. it's easier."

"how much did you spend on tickets?"

i started explaining to him about the whole grounds pass thing. why it is better than getting tickets to ashe stadium during the early rounds. he agreed with me and appeared to have noted some USO "tips" from me. 

"did you watch the finals?"

"yes. nadal owned novak."

he then started talking about the top players. the pre-wimbledon 2013 top 4, serena, venus' health, sharapova's shoulder, ashe stadium's rooflessness, etc. i just nodded along. 

"blah blah blah serena's serve blah blah blah pete sampras' serve."

i inserted stan's backhand in our conversation just because. at that point, my backpack and carry-on was slayed empty.

"alright i think we're done here. you may now repack these and go."

"oh okay. great."

"sorry for dismantling your stuff. do you need help?"

"yes, you douchebag! repack my shit! you people brought me in here to chat me up about tennis?! wtf?! why did you guys bring me in here?! why did you have to murder my backpack?!" is what i should've said. 

but instead, i said "no, i can do it myself. thanks anyway."

"alright. take care. nice talking to you."

"yes, i'm a delight."

when i got home, i brushed my teeth, washed my face, and looked at that wholesome (not) imagery reflected in the mirror. holy shit....the red patches around my left cornea. officer #1 probably thought i was high. yeah for some unrelated to drug reasons, there were red patches (could be blood) around my eye that lasted for more than a week. i don't know how and why. 

so my conclusion to this whole border security experience patches. oy.