Peaceful Easy Feeling After Crossing the Border
By David Henderson
I wrote two posts on border crossings recently. The first was on my time-intensive crossing into Canada last month. On that basis, I predicted that when the Canadian government opened the border to Americans on August 9 (today), the result would be a mess. That prediction, by the way, has already been borne out by an 8-hour-long wait of cars and trucks trying to cross from International Falls, Minnesota to Fort Frances, Ontario.
My second post was to point out that one does not need a negative Covid test if one is a U.S. citizen driving from Canada to the United States. One does not even need evidence of vaccination.
Now to the point of this post. At the end of my stay at my cottage in Minaki, Ontario, I drove to Winnipeg and then south to the U.S. border crossing at Pembina, North Dakota. I was quite nervous. I didn’t need to be.
There was no line in front of me when I drove up to window of the Customs and Immigration official. I showed her my U.S. passport and she asked me the kinds of questions I’ve been asked in normal non-Covid years.
It went something like this.
Her: What were you doing in Canada?
Me: Staying at my cottage.
Her: (Making fun of me in a non-nasty way) Staying at your cottage. (I think she got a kick out of the fact that Canadians say “cottage” where Americans say “cabin.” She could tell by my U.S. passport that I was born in Canada.)
Her: What was the water level like? (I think she was testing to see if I had been at my cottage.)
Me: Almost a foot lower than normal.
Her: (This part is vague in my memory.) Are you bringing any meat, fruit, or vegetables?
Her: Are you bringing back anything you purchased?
Me: Yes, potato chips [I love the Canadian brand Old Dutch] and Coffee Crisp bars.
Her: Ok. Go ahead.
Me: (not able to resist). Wow! This was so much easier than when I went the other way.
For the next 30 or 40 miles en route to Grand Forks, I didn’t have to look in the car’s mirror to see that I had a perpetual smile on my face. A peaceful, easy feeling.