Nick Kiddle (ksej) wrote,
Nick Kiddle

Fun with borders

This time, I made it to America.

There were some unpleasant parts. Canadian border control decided I was too poor or too nervous or in some other way a bad risk, but eventually relented, stapling to my passport a form with the strict stipulation that I leave the day my return flight is booked for. Then we headed down from Vancouver to Seattle and had another run-in with US border control. Apparently, the US is such a wonderful country that any visitors must be treated as potential immigrants. I'm sure the US is a great place, but it is not my home, and I very much do not want to immigrate.

The fact that I have no paid job counted against me in the interview; paid work counting as a sufficiently strong incentive to return home. I mentioned xCLP, who I will not lightly abandon, but this wasn't convincing. I mentioned the franchise game on the 20th, to which the border agent said, "But you could just watch it on television." No, border agent, I'm pretty certain no North American television channels show League 1 football.

I then explained that I have a home, with all my property in, and an allotment. Once I'd explained the apparently too British concept of an allotment, he seemed slightly more convinced, and asked me what I'd planted. Then I mentioned the market, and since that is a kind of exchange of labour for money, it tipped the scales in favour of letting me in.

We still have to return to Canada so that I can turn in my visitor record and catch my return flight. I'm hoping, "If you don't let me pass through your country, the US will be quite annoyed with you," will work as a persuasive argument here. Mostly I'm trying not to think about it. I like national identities just fine - the World Cup wouldn't really work without them - but dear lord, I hate border crossings.

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