All right, so I have no pictures for this particular blog, but I do have a fun story, which is totally better right! I like to think so! So for all of you who are reading this you can use your imagination which is WAY better then any camera I could have had with me!
As I'm sure you're all aware, now is a PRIME time if you plan on doing any shopping down in the Good Ol' USA since our dollar is so strong. Thus I decided that I certainly would want to take part in that great tradition of cross border shopping. Little did I know of the Adventure that would await me.
Ok so here in Ontario depending on what day you go and what border you cross at it can take anywhere from 30min-a couple of hours to cross the border. Well on Friday Holly and I decided that we were going to go shopping and so we drove to the Sarnia/Port Huron Crossing (It's about an hour away from where we live in London) after she had finished class for the day and it was around 3:30ish when we reached Sarnia. It only took us about 45min to get to the border guy (which really isn't so bad) but here's where the story starts to get fun.
Border Guy: Your Citizenship
Border Guy: The Nature of your visit?
Border Guy: Do you have any produce, Meats, yada, yadda, yadda?
Border Guy: Do you ladies come across the border very often?
Us: Not Really.
Border Guy: Have you ever been randomly selected to participate in a search?
Us: Uh, No.
Border Guy: Well today's your lucky day cause the computer's randomly selected you to be searched today. (or something along those lines)
Me: Well at least this will be an interesting shopping trip.
Border Guy: (Kinda Chuckles) Well Ladies please pull over to the left and someone will direct you on what to do.
So we pull over to the left, they tell me to park my car (I was driving a rental) and they tell us that we have to go into a building and to please take our wallets, but no cell phone's allowed. So we get out of the car and head towards the customs office (I think it's customs...It's got all sorts of Home Land Security posters though, and I think they're a division of the FBI), and the nice guy who told me where to park took my keys and proceeds to start searching my car. Holly and I go into the building where there's a GIANT line and start our wait. Well we wait, and we wait, and we wait...and two hours later we finally get to the front of the line. Now let me say this about the Homeland Security People, they were pretty nice to Holly and I, however we were pulled over randomly, but to everyone else, they are MEAN! You do not want to mess with these people. They are rude and scary and they wear Guns! They have holes built into their jackets so that you can see these guns. Seriously, if you are doing something wrong at the border you should re-think that because they are not messing around. (Nor would I want them too really...they're just defending their country). You need permission to go to the bathroom and they practically frisk you before you go in! Once you're in the building you can't make any phone calls and you can't leave until you're cleared to go. No joke....it's almost like being incarcerated for a short period of time :) It's some seriously good times.
Anyway so like I said it took roughly 2 hours for us to get to the start of the line, where we get quizzed on where we were going (The mall up the road...no joke, it's about 7min from the border), why we were going, how much money we had on us, why we were driving a rental, our citizenship and where we were from. There's was allot more to it then that, but at this point I'm condensing things :) He then went out and re-searched my car (which took him 20min) and then came back and told us we were free to go. So we left the building to the applause of all the new friends we had made in line. (I'm actually not kidding about that. They clapped when we left. We were the only ones in line who hadn't been pulled over for some actual reason.) We then continued on our Merry way to the mall because at that point we only had a few good shopping hours left.
On a side note, here's my favorite two reasons I overheard people talking to the customs officers about why they got pulled over. These are actually REALLY funny if you hear the full story, but they're still pretty good in short version. So...reasons to be pulled over at the Border.
1. A Man was stopped because his license plate had come up as stolen. He had reported his car stolen two weeks ago and then thought it was a good idea to drive it across the border without letting anyone know he had it back. (Yes, it really was his car.)
2. 3 guys probably around my age told the border people they were going to visit their friend in Buffalo. (Big Red Flag as there's a border crossing in Buffalo and it's in the state of New York...we were at the crossing in Michigan...it doesn't matter where you are in Ontario, it is NOT faster to go to Michigan and then drive under the lakes to get to Buffalo. It probably adds about 3 hours to a trip you could have avoided by just driving to Buffalo.) Turns out they were going to a Cock fight and had a Rooster in the back of their car. That's right, they tried to get a rooster across the border.
Anyway all in all it was a pretty fun trip. It makes for a good story at the very least. I REALLY wish I could have taken pictures, but I'm pretty sure Homeland Security probably wouldn't have liked that so much. Needless to say, I'm sure glad to be Canadian. (Side note, I love that you can't bring produce and Meats into the US, and that they don't care about anything else, but in Canada they ask about tobacco, alcohol and Firearms. Good to know where the priorities lie!)