George Richardson wrote:
> Don't both bitching about customs agents based on country. You'll find
> stories for EVERY country, ranging from the stupid to the dishonest.
Dunno--I hear stories from both sides. (I reminded of a female comedian
stopped at the Canadian border by one of their customs agent, and when
she was asked her reason for coming to Canada and her profession, she
said, "I have a job. I'm a comedian." Whereupon the customs agent
thought she said that she was a Canadian, and wasn't being responsive;
after about twenty minutes of this, she was denied entry for failing to
answer required questions.: :)
As for m'self, the genuinely stupid incident happened on our side of the
border. I'd been able to have my Spit shipped to California when I got
out of the army in 1970, and on my way back to the East Coast, I'd cut
through Canada to save a few miles. When I got to US customs at Niagara
Falls, the customs cop asked me for my passport. I said I don't have it,
and don't need it. He said, "you're coming from a foreign country." I
said, yes, I know, Canada. I don't need a passport to enter or leave
Canada. "No, I mean Hawaii. You've got Hawaii license plates." Uh, it's
part of the United States now. It's been a state since 1959. It's been a
US territory since 1898. "No, it isn't."
Well, this conversation rapidly devolved to simple contradiction and
went on for several minutes as I tried to find one fact which would
convince the guy that Hawaii was, indeed, a part of the United States. I
explained how the car got here. No good. Showed him shipping
papers--wouldn't a passport be required in California when I first
arrived? "Not necessarily." Showed him discharge papers. "That doesn't
prove you're a US citizen. I need a passport."
Finally, I told him to call his superior and ask. He did finally get on
the phone, talked for a minute. Then he said, "you can go."
Never let anyone drive you crazy when you know it's within walking