Thursday, 3 April 2008

Welcome to America. You damn foreigner.

This morning I braved the staunchly-guarded border of Manitoba and North Dakota. After being told the temporary US visa (which exists in addition to my 10-year US visa) had expired, I was asked to renew it, pay $6, and that I should have turned it in to an embassy before it expired. Were I to neglect this duty again, "bad things will happen", I was told more than once.

Time taken:
Bus in order queue: 15min
In first line: 5min
In second line: 15min
Being scolded and charged: 10min
Waiting for bus member to be thoroughly searched in special holding room: 60min
Return to Canadian territory to stamp bus member's passport: 15min
Backtracking up the highway to loop around to border again: 10min
Rubber stamping: 5min

(Time since last eating: 6 hours)

Suddenly, food is half the price, and the second language is Spanish, not French. The black people came from Africa generations, not years, ago. People are fatter south of th border, and their forthright words bear no lingering residue of apology.

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