July 30, 2009

A trip up to Canada - third times the charm

I had made two trips up to Canada before and had an 'interesting' time coming back into the USA. I wrote about them here and here. Today I went up to pick up two more items I had won at the auction -- a little air sample to accompany my weather station and a nice Welch-Sargent rotary vane vacuum pump with a possibly fried motor. The annotation on the description said that the on/off switch was burned out and that is often a bad starting capacitor ($12) or bad motor (I have a couple half-horse motors kicking around anyway). I arrived at Customs and waited about 45 minutes in the line. The air conditioning in the truck is dead and there was no breeze to be had. I finally get to the Kiosk and they ask the usual questions. The guy hands me a pink slip and tells me to pull over... Unfortunately, the people before me were a Canadian family (husband, wife and two kids around 6yo.). As I was waiting in the office, the husband was placed in handcuffs and lead away. I overheard the Customs Officer telling the wife that the guy had lied to them about being arrested and they were being sent back to Canada. Needless to say, I was not the focus of their attention so I hung out in their nice air-conditioned office for two hours waiting for them to process me. The last time through, they went into the truck and looked but this time they tossed it completely -- even sealed boxes from Ikea were opened and gone through. My center console wasn't given a quick slap and tickle, it was dumped out onto a table and pawed through. The last time I went through, they asked for the first time if I had any sharp or pointed objects or knives. I always carry and I replied yes. Later, I found out what that question was in reference to and posted about it here. Left the knife at home today. Good as they asked the same question and fortunately, through an email I received today, the Customs people are backing down on this little power grab. I guess they received a lot of letters from people. They certainly received one from me... I am planning next time (month or two) to detail the truck -- get it completely empty -- and then go up with Jen, have lunch at Ikea, buy a thing or two for the house and drive back through the same station. See what happens... Posted by DaveH at July 30, 2009 9:08 PM | TrackBack