Posted by: mchleen | February 3, 2009

Over the border and through Customs, to Grandmother’s house we go!

Dudley DorightSo I’m headed to Canada to visit my inlaws. Normally this would be a pleasant experience, but for the detainment that I’m sure to be subject to when I return to my homeland.

Now don’t jump to conclusions! I’ve not been subject to strip searches. I do not conduct a fringe business of ferrying drugs or exotics across the border. I most certainly am not a terrorist – well, admittedly I may have terrorized some of you in some fashion at some point. In the spirit of fairness, I will not deny it.

In 2005, upon return from a vacation in Jamaica, a U.S. Border agent miskeyed my passport number into their database. Now, every time I cross the border home I am detained and questioned about the discrepancy; my passport is suspected of being counterfeit. I’ve spent a good slice of time sitting side-by-side with Mr. Shady McShaderson in airport Customs and at the Canadian border. And trust me, those border agents don’t indulge you for one moment with empathy or humor (two things without which I’m often completely undone). There’s nothing like being pulled aside while you wait for a “female escort” to get your blood pressure up.

So I shake and I fret and I wring my hands. And every time the result is the same. They admit the mistake, shrug their shoulders and send me on my way after securing the promise that I will correct the matter with the Department of Homeland Security.* I leave feeling like a scolded child, and that I escaped just shy of an invasive cavity search.

It is only for love that I willingly will submit shortly – again. But if I see a billy club headed my way, I’m making a run for the border and I don’t mean for a chalupa at Taco Bell.

* The matter is currently under investigation but in the meantime I’ll continue to travel because hey – it’s not my fault! And those beaurocratic rats better not try to make me pay for a new passport.



  1. Ugh, that sucks! Since moving to Mexico I’ve had my share of DHS personnel, and I’m always afraid they’re going to find some reason to pull me into the private room. So far, so good.

    Good luck and have fun!

  2. You are too much! The only time I got “detained” was because neither my brother or I bothered to obtain the hotel address, or the name of the hotel for that matter. They don’t approve of you entering a country w/out a destination, apparently. Good luck this time!

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