Given our previous road-trips, Miles and I knew that this journey wasn’t always going to be super smooth. Essentially, we knew that along the way we would make some crappy choice that would lead to headaches and sometimes even full-on panic attacks.
We’ve stayed at crappy hotels where the car got infested by ants. We watched our flight home from Jamaica takeoff as we sat in the gate area. Shit, I even had my passport stolen in China. So we knew something would go wrong somewhere along the way.
Well, today marks the first day of our amazing Canadian road-trip, and also the day of our biggest travel fuck-up to date. You might be thinking, “We all mess up sometimes.” Maybe you barely know me and your thoughts are more along the lines of, “Don’t worry because it will all work out.”
So what was the major screw-up? We almost didn’t get allowed into Canada! That’s right, our destination for the entire SUMMER, and we almost got rejected at the border.
Miles and I had talked about how the two of us traveling with a car-full of crap would raise suspicions, and the car would get searched. I totally understand that Miles gives off a really strong drug-mule vibe, so I was prepared. What I wasn’t ready for was having to justify being let into Canada. We’ve visited Canada at least four times in the last 10 years, and we’ve always just said that we were on vacation and we’ve been waved through the border, of course after about 10 gun-related questions.
Naturally, when we were asked a lot of questions and sent to the side for further inspection, neither of us thought anything of it, after all, we didn’t have anything to hide. However, things quickly changed when we were asked very specific questions about our trip and how we were going to pay for it. When I told the agent that we had sufficient funds to cover our trip, he asked me to show him bank statements. Do or be bounced and have your Canadian entry cred soiled!
WTF? I didn’t even think of having bank statements with me, because I haven’t seen a paper bank statement since I was about 10 years old. Luckily, immigration dude was super understanding when I explained that I could show him account balances, but paper statements were going to be impossible to conjure. He agreed as long as I could pull them up right away on my phone.
Remember when I said that shitty choices lead to headaches down the line? Well, it turns out that rockin’ a janky Samsung S3 S4 (I forgot I upgraded recently), on Boost Mobile, was my terrible choice this day… Cut to me running around like an idiot outside of the Canada Immigration building looking to get reception just on the other side of the border. I have my phone in my hand and I’m looking at it like it’s a fucking treasure map. I pace from one side to the other. At the suggestion of an agent, who has obviously seen countless people do this, I hurry close to the payphone (yes, they do exist). Cue the panic attack when I realize that I’ve had better reception at a Mardi Gras parade.
After looking like a lost idiot for about 10 minutes, I manage to get what I think is sufficient information to get our asses across the border. I like to think that I convinced the agent because of my charming wit, but really, it was just dumb luck. He said he believed us, and we could go. But first, we had to endure getting “yelled” at by a Canadian…
I’ve never experienced a Canadian scolding someone until today. The border agent said, “I am sorry, but we expect people to be more organized. You were not organized.” That’s right, Canadians are so polite that they apologize while you make thir life more complicated by being a walking mess.
Obviously, we need to get our shit together for our next trip back to our northern neighbor. Our plan, drown them in paper! Bank statements, apartment lease, one-way plane tickets to Buenos Aires, a note from Miles’s mom saying she will be mad if we don’t come back. All paper clipped and sorted of course. Jokes aside, we didn’t do our homework, and we got lucky. Learn from us.