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The Border and Vancouver

April 6, 2017

I have to admit. I was worried about crossing the border. For one, I had a bad experience (read that story here). For another, I had all that stuff in my car. I didn’t have a place to put my belongings at Lori’s house so my element was still stuffed with boxes and a t.v. and a chest of drawers and paintings and all kinds of shit. It looked like I was moving because that was I had just done.

Mr. Canada advised saying that I was headed to Alaska. He said border control heard that line all the time from Americans. But I’m a terrible liar. That claim would be followed by endless questions that I would have make up answers to on the fly. I can’t pull that off. My policy is: Tell the truth if for no other reason than it’s the easiest to remember. Especially when speaking to government officials.

I got to the border crossing and approached. There was only one car ahead of me. I came up to a large, green traffic light so I pulled up just behind the van ahead of me.

It was my turn, I handed over my passport. The man asked me to remove my sunglasses.

“Are you allergic to stop signs?” he asked.

Apparently I wasn’t supposed to take the green light literally. I was supposed to wait behind the light. He then proceeded to ask a plethora of questions. The usual stuff. Narcotics: no. Guns: no. Etc…etc….Then he asked about all the stuff. I gave him my story.

“Have you been to Canada before?”

“I have not,” I said.

“I didn’t think so. Well, since this is your first time, we’ll give you a proper Canadian welcome. Pull your car up over there and the officers will show where to park.”

It was the Canadian version of “Step aside, m’am.” Here we go.

I went into a large, lovely building with high ceiling and lots of modern, wooden and stone interior treatments. A woman asked me more questions then said they were going to look in my car. “Do you have anything you’re concerned about in the vehicle?” the officer asked.

“In what way?” I asked her.

“Like valuable or breakable things.”

I thought for a minute. “Well, I have camera equipment……and oh, there’s a t.v. in there……….and a computer and I guess some dishes and stuff……”

They went out to my Element and asked me to have a seat. When I was sitting there I thought about how I had jammed a bunch of small stuff on the passenger side. I went up the counter and said, “Excuse me, I forgot to mention, if you open the passenger side door, everything will fall out.” I laughed a little. The officer didn’t laugh and she informed the officers outside through her walkie talkie.

I sat and waited with nothing to read or look at. I was a little nervous but not I’m-stuck-in-Tel-Aviv nervous. The worst they could do was ask me to turn around. I was five hours from Portland, not on the other side of the world.

Coming back in, they asked to see my phone and for my password. Luckily I had recent texts from both Mr. Canada and Lori about the ultrasound she had earlier that day, both corroborating my story.

The tall, blond stout woman called me up again and said they were letting me through.

“If you’re going to come through the border again, you might want to find a place to put all that stuff,” she said, completely straight faced. “It just looks like you’re trying to move here.” I smiled as she said it and agreed. “Yeah, I think I’m going to do that,” I said with a laugh and she finally broke out with a little smile.

I found my way back onto the highway and followed Nigel’s directions. I was in Canada.

I drove into Vancouver around 5ish. It was a sunny day and I could see all the mountains, topped with snow. They put Mount Hood to shame. I drove in on Hastings street and was blown away by the row of weird and delightful shops. It was compact and thoroughly interesting. I could have pulled over and spent hours on that one street. There was something organic and wonderful about the line of businesses. It was like New Orleans, but not quite. It was like no other city I had been to. I suppose it might be more European but I’ve never been to Europe. I was instantly falling in love with the city.

I was having trouble following Mr. Canada’s directions, especially since he didn’t give me distances between points the way Siri and Google maps does. And my Element was sputtering a little. My silver box does not like going up inclines. I think it misses the flat streets of Louisiana. So, I pulled over and checked the oil, basically the only thing I know to do when my car is acting weird. Then I plugged in Mr. Canada’s address and let my phone take me there.

I found it easily and let him know I had arrived. He wouldn’t be off of work for another couple of hours. I went for a walk and found an empty chinese restaurant for some hot tea and a couple of spring rolls. I knew Mr. C would be mad if he knew I was eating. He, of course had cooking plans for me.

I walked around a bit more until Mr. C told me he was on his way home. I got my stuff out and took it to the entrance of the apartment building and sat there like a vagrant. Just then, his blue car pulled up and he walked up to me.

“Who is this stray dog waiting here?” he joked.

I got up and hugged him. He was dressed up for work in dress pants and an argyle sweater vest and yellow tie.

He smelled beautifully familiar and his lips were as sweet as ever.

Looking up at him, holding him tight, his hands pushing me hair away from my face as he smiled down at me, I felt a shiver come from somewhere inside my stomach and travel up to my head.

I was really falling in love with him badly.

Every time I met him again, I was a little farther gone.

Mr. Canada had me under his spell.

 

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From → Rantings

One Comment
  1. Welcome to Canada! Lol

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