I'm in California at the moment (lunch, Mr. Kite? Monday or Tuesday?). My husband and my two little kids are here too. They decided to come along to keep me company because I am here for a full week. We are lucky to be here. Let me tell you about the nasty thing that happened to me at the Vancouver International Airport.
If you're travelling to the US from Vancouver, you clear (if all goes well) Customs and Immigration in Vancouver. I've never had any problem crossing... until yesterday.
I got a bad feeling from the officer right from the moment we were directed into his queue. He took his time before he looked up from the glow of his computer screen to acknowledge us. I won't say greet us because, um, that didn't happen. (Despite the pure fiction they have displayed on posters in the Customs Zone at the airport: We pledge to greet you with courtesy and welcome you to the United States. Ha! More like, We pledge to get erections while we give you the silent treatment until you start to babble and cry.) Anyway, he asked some questions, and then slowly and deliberately reached for an upsettingly non-handy fat purple felt pen.* I could tell this wasn't his regular pen. He wrote a big letter "H" on my customs card. "H"?? I've never seem that before. What could I have said to give me the worrisome H?
Then he said, "Go in there." And pointed to a set of closed doors. Not a good sign. (Did I mention that it is 4:30 am?) I said, "Is there a problem?" He said, "I don't know."
To make a long story short, we had a long wait in the second room. The clock was ticking (as clocks do), and I was starting to get nervous about missing my flight (the fam was on a later flight so I wasn't as worried about them). Finally, I had some more questions from a slightly nicer person and found out that I am violating NAFTA rules by coming down here to do work. The only reason they finally let me through was because I swore up and down that I was only coming here for training and that I wouldn't do a stitch of work (so help me god). The fact that I work for the same company in Vancouver as the one that I am visiting in the US? Makes no difference. The fact that I am doing the same work in Vancouver as I would do in the US? Makes no difference.
Good to know. Wish my company had given me a heads up (does this take an apostrophe? I've often wondered. I will look it up someday).
They added an annotation to my passport record. I expect that border crossing will get harder from now on.
I ran and made my flight with 2 minutes to spare. I am not in very good cardiovascular shape.
But here we are. We're having a pretty good time.
* Yes, I need that many adjectives.