Canada Customs: our tax dollars at work

There’s nothing like capping off a great vacation with a friendly interrogation by Canadian customs. I just can’t say enough about those hardworking guys and gals at the Canadian border. They’re doing just such a wonderful job of keeping lowlifes and scum, such as Canadian citizens, from entering the country.

Yesterday was already one of those horrendous travel days, where  all day is spent just trying to get home. We had a brief reprieve in the a.m., when we were able to enjoy our room at the Casa Lucilla for a last couple more hours before catching  our flight back. A small boutique hotel in Old Mazatlan (as opposed to the tourist mecca of the Golden Zone, El Zona Dorada), Casa Lucilla was where we spent our first, and last couple of nights, bookending out week-long stay at the El Cid resort.

 But our troubles began at the Mazatlan airport, when Nic didn’t have the customs form we were given upon entering the country. It was only by chance I had mine. However, after a brief visit to the Immigration office, where she filled out the proper form, we were on our way for the first leg of the trip.

 Have I mentioned what a two-bit airline U.S. Airways is? Two bucks for a pop. And I thought Air Canada sucked.

 Worse was to come, however. I’m sorry, but if the grinding security checkpoints at the bureaucratic hell-pit that is the Phoenix airport are the result of 9/11, then the terrorists have won. I’m also sorry to report that I spent money at the Fox Sky Box, a hellish sports bar in the airport where we stopped to have dinner. Thanks for the $12USD Bloody Marys, you scumbags.

After a two-and-a-half hour flight, we arrived in Seattle. We got the Ford Escort from the park ‘n’ fly hotel without incident, but the torrential downpour we drove through brought reality crashing back after our nine days in sundrenched paradise. Welcome back to the Pacific Northwest, it seemed to say. Enjoy the rest of your life.

About half an hour from the border (it’s about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Seattle to Vancouver for those of you unfamiliar with the territory; the border stop comes about two hours in) we discussed whether or not to claim the wine we’d stopped to buy. Since we were still within our legal limit I thought, why not? Nic, however, was of the other opinion—that if we claimed any alcohol at all we’d be pulled over. Nonsense, I opined confidently.

 Sure enough, the uptight chick at the crossing saw things differently. I’d barely gotten the words “Mazatlan” and “two bottles of wine between us” out of my mouth before she was handing us a slip of paper and telling us to pull over. It was shortly after mid-night, and we were ushered into the vault-like, fluorescent-lit chamber of Canada fuckin’ Customs, thank you very much, where we were told to “wait” in the middle of the room in a roped-off area. There was no one else in line, but they made us wait anyway, before some fat-assed mooked came out to the counter and invited us over. In my infinite wisdom, I slapped down my passport.

 “Do you have a problem?” asked the man to which I will refer to as No-neck.

 “Yeah,” I said, ignoring Nic who, at m side, wa, by now trying to blend in with the scenery. “I don’t like being pulled over.”

 “Well then, you shouldn’t leave the country,” says No-neck, whose salary I pay.

 Well, to make a long story short, I didn’t help our case any, or Nic’s, for that matter. She is, after all, a visiting alien currently between jobs. After letting me fume for half an hour in a waiting area, while some Larry King show about Oprah’s weight gain ran on the TV and a Sikh security guard with a microphone in his turban sat nearby to catch anything Nic and I might say to each other, we were finally let go. We arrived home sometime after 1, me still steaming at Canada Customs, and her berating me for behaving like a frat-boy testosterone monkey. I’m sure she’s right—that smiling and nodding would have been a better way to handle the situation. But sometimes, a guy’s just gotta behave like an idiot. 

goodbye, mazatlan

1 Response to “Canada Customs: our tax dollars at work”

  1. 1 Shealy
    January 10, 2009 at 7:45 am

    Pretty funny Shawn.
    And so you know….Dave and I have had tons of customs altercations.
    And WE BOTH used to give them the gears like bratty teenagers. I may have even been worse.
    Cause the whole fun of it is that you didnt do anything wrong so might as well
    give those dudes some entertainment!! Sexy back shot by the by.


    K 🙂

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