Crossing the Border - Going into Canada
Crossing the border (coming up from North Dakota) early in the morning (around 2AM) on April 17th, was not a good idea. I was the only car arriving into Canada at that time, which gave the inspectors all the time in the world to comb through every inch of my belongings. After a few questions at the gate, the man told me to "Pull Over". I did, then went into the office for more questions (I wish I had this view when I got to border) ------------------------------------>
Man... let me tell you, they have records of everything. My last credit card charge (15 minutes prior), all the places I worked (some I had forgotten). They wanted to know why I no longer worked at some of these places, which ...... I was not sure why cause I had not thought about those things for many, many years. They asked me the most stupid questions, which I cannot say here, but man, I feel sorry for those people who have to work at the border. I believe they are told what to say, because they cannot be thinking.
Anyway, the man questioning me, told me to drive my pick up car up into their garage, and there he took out everything! put it in the x-ray scanner, then combed through all my stuff further. He opened my notebook and tried to read my notes (no one can read my handwriting - sometimes even I have a hard time). And then he wanted to know how much I was going to sell the football, belts and flags equipment. I explained that we do these trainings as promotions or the sport and they are free. He did not believe me. I told him again, they are free and we do not sell these equipments. He asked are they worth $1,000, $2,000 ? I told him, they are free, we do not sell them. "Do you get $5.00 or $10.00 for each of these (pointing to the belts and flags), I told him "they are free" (don't forget, I drove through a snow storm in the Dakotas , drove for 33 hours, it was then around 3 AM in the morning....... questions like this man was asking me...... really did not make sense. I asked if this interrogation was because of 9/11. He said this was standard (now tell me who is telling the truth and who is making stuff up)
Well...... he would not let me go into Canada unless I got rid of the equipment. I told him he could hold them, that I would return in just two days. He said no. So, I had to go back to the US border, pay for a hotel, to keep the equipment there. He told me to tell the US side that I was returning from the Canadian gates.
Crossing the Border - Going back into US
Lesson number one: What ever you do..... don't tell the US border you have just been rejected by the Canadian border! Was I stupid?! (yes I was)
"OK, pull your car over", and again....... they took out all my belongings and combed through my personal belongings (I am really getting grouchy now, but trying to keep my mouth shut). What is the sense of it all? The purpose? And if you ask these people a question, they give you a smart answer to intimidate you. But, finaly a couple of hours later, I am out of the customs but going in the opposite direction from where I have to go (oh I can't wait to get back there - and I have to!).
I continue down North Dakota to find the hotel I had passed not too far from the border. It was snowing horrifically (it was a snow storm),
and I could not read the signs on the road for direction. I just followed the truck tire marks and saw the lights from a gas station. There, I asked the young man (it was around 7 AM) where the nearest hotel was, and he points me down the road. So I get in the car, and I cannot see the road . It was real scary.... you see the white snow, but no sidewalks, and you can't really tell where the curbs are, you just bump into them). I get to the hotel...... no vacancy. What to do! I go back to the gas station and ask the young man if I could leave some bags at the gas station. I am really desperate. He says no problem. I thought how nice of this young man (I never asked his name, nor the name of the gas station for that matter) to let me leave the belongings at the station.
Recrossing Canadain Border
So I leave to go back to the Canadian border (I can't wait to see my "friend " again so I could make him happy). As soon as I reach the gate, my "friend" is there. I pull over, he takes a quick look, then closes my door and I am allowed to leave.
Hello Buddy! what about the chance now of me taking in some weapons of mass destruction? I was gone for some hours and had the chance to do this! you didn't put all my belongings into the scanner! you didn't comb through my personal belongings again....
So, I think this guy may not be stupid, that he knew I was no threat to the safety of either countries, and that he did the special "spic and span" inspection check for some other reason..... but certainly not for the safety of finding terrorists, because he proved it by not checking my car the second time I went to the Canadian border and was allowed to go into Canada.
I continued up to Winnipeg, that morning, ran the clinic for 40 yourng women. That night I had a very special "Easter Dinner" (becuase I did not know if I would make Easter Dinner with my family in New York. Then the very next day, I left Canada, headed back for New York.
When I reached the US border, I again had to pull aside, have all my belongings taken out and waited for two hours for this "inspection". I guess from now on, I will be a target of investigation for some reason. Is it worth me traveling to Canada via car in the future? for flag football it is, I'll just have to get more sleep each time I hit the border. Also, I am sad about the whole purpose of it all and where our security is headed.
I wrote this piece, knowing it may be used against me because I am tired of speaking the 'universal language of silence' (I got this from Hillary Clinton's book: Living History. And in this book, countries where women, girls ...... human beings are brutalized, killed, treated less than the men or other human beings... the biggest crime that is committed is the 'universal language of silenc'e which allows these type of treatments to go on.
Also, it really saddens me when I cannot board a plane with my bowling ball (wait till you read that piece - leaving the US) because it is dangerous. Not when bottles of liquor are allowed to be brought on ( and they have handles) and could possibly be used as a weapon. So I wonder why bowling balls are considered dangerous, and liquor bottles are not? I have a feeling it is for the benefit of businesses at the airport who sell these bottles of liquor . Money is involved, so ....... it is alright.
When rules and regulations are created, and don't make sense, it is time to put 2 and 2 together. What is the REAL purpose of having these restrictions? and who is making these rules? I just wish people would think and not accept things blindly. Think............ then understand. And don't be afraid to voice your opinion.... as a matter of fact, "Voice Your Opinion! "