Canadian Rejects & Learning how to be..

I pulled up to the patrol booth and had our passports ready in hand. Danne was just finishing up a conversation on the phone as I rolled down the window. I gave him a smile but he remained behind the glass. A minute or two went by and Danne was still on the phone so I suggested that maybe he was waiting for her. She said goodbye and he finally opened the window, “Passports so I can stamp them with a rejection sticker and send you back to the states…” I looked at Danne, “Did he just say we were getting rejected?”

He opened up the window and began to interrogate us – I asked him nicely why we would be getting rejected from Canada – “..because your friend over there was holding up the line of traffic by being on her phone – she could broadcast this entire conversation… it’s illegal to be on your phone when you cross the border…” I looked around – I didn’t see any signs saying so. I told him that we didn’t know the rule and if we had known she wouldn’t have been on the phone. I told him that it was a conversation between us and not her … Danne apologized but he basically told us that we were out of luck. I started to get a little mad and explained that we had been driving for the past 8 days from Portland, OR and that going through Canada was the most direct route. He said that we’d just have to go back down through Michigan, through Ohio, Pennsylvania etc. I said that it would add a whole day onto our trip. He didn’t care. I started to get upset and didn’t want to give him the benefit of the doubt by letting him see any sign of tears. He asked a few more questions and could tell that I was upset. He said, “What is there a family emergency or something?” I said, “No, I’m just trying to get back home to work and I’m exhausted and just want to get home…” … “So, you haven’t been to Canada or know the rules about crossing the border?” … “No, if we had we wouldn’t have been careless about it.” He closed the window and took a few moments and handed our passports back and told us to “go ahead.” After all that. What a jerk – he built me up, took any energy that I might have had left in me and left me feeling drained…

All in an instant I had a huge disdain for immigration and wanted to speed through Ontario as fast as possible to get back to the states. Big intrusive power lines, power plants, shopping plazas and condos were the scenery on the highway. It was gross and depressing and we both noticed that the signage was awful. We drove for a few hours straight through to the NY border. Once there we were interrogated again in full accusatory mode – wondering why I’ve been gone, for how long and the whole shebang. He even asked if Danne and I were related – he said we looked like sisters… short man syndrome is it called?

Anyway, we made it to Niagara just before dusk and started checking for some cheap accommodations. After checking a few we found ourselves at the Econo Lodge in a truly seedy part of town. We grabbed some things from the car and made our way in to have a hot shower, some soup and bread. After my quick shower I got dinner going while Danne took hers. It felt really bittersweet to be spending our last night in a motel. We broke out a bottle of wine and started to reminisce. Life was about to change for both of us in significant ways and we could feel it. We were antsy to get back but at the same time wanted to stay just right where we were. I started to get a little overwhelmed – as if the gravity of my decision started to weigh on me. I hadn’t been home in 5 months. I was uncertain how it would feel and began to get a little anxious. Oh how strange life can be sometimes and how beautiful on the same account. It felt right to be there with Danne and to have shared this experience with her. If you can just be everything feels alright. After all we had a full day ahead of us and it began with a photo op with Ted and Danta at Niagara Falls…

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