Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Single female, traveling alone, no destination?"

Welcome to Vancouver! Customs took the initiative yesterday - Pulled me over for two hours, while they nailed me speculative questions about my bank account. Which led to many repetitive questions about traveling and if I was into drug trafficking... "Oh yes! Indeed! No idea how that slipped my mind!?" While interrogating me, they trashed my car... perhaps searching for narcotics or a trunk full of coke or something? I am not totally sure. With my car being my home - it was really chaotic.

Had dinner with a hotel manager last night.... he was really good company. Guess he grew up living in a hotel - eating continental breakfast for food in the mornings, going to school during the day, fixing the rooms that were not made yet at night... He paid for my dinner, which was most welcome since I am so wholesomely broke right now..... I swear, all the good people come out of the rocks when you least expect them to. We hung out until late last night, drinking some canadian beer by the poolside - talking about places we would like to visit in Europe. It was a great evening....

For those of you that I am working with this week - I do not get cell phone service in Canada. Sometimes I can receive incoming calls and text messages, but it comes and goes with the towers... so if you need something - try to email me. Because email is something that is universal - unlike Verizon.


Vlad said...

Only been reading your blog for a week or two, but thought I might impose with a wave and a comment!

Downright shocking behaviour from the customs gentlemen, but glad to hear that you fell on your feet.

Hope you enjoy the nooks and crannies of Old Europe one day!

PD said...

Nice way to say hello & welcome to Canada. Trashing the car is a bit much. Hate to say it, keep this in the back of mind. I've got a feeling you will be going through the same thing when you come back Stateside.

Thats a nice surprise. Amazing what & who one comes across when their traveling. Hope Canada is a little nicer tomorrow. :)

Richard W said...

I never would have expected the 2 hour grilling from the Canadian side. Normally they just wave you on. But in this case it really makes me wonder WTF do they need to know where you are going, who you are seeing? I mean I grew up in a time when it was no one else's business where the hell I was going or doing. I mean if I decided to take a trip on a spur of the moment and letting the road take me where it went it's really my own choice to do so. Don't these people ever get the urge to 'up and go exploring'? Shit.

Buffalo Springfield said it all in "For What It's Worth"...
'Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away'

That song, that 'anthem', is as relevant today as it was 40 (!) years ago...maybe even more so. Where is our Freedom to be who we are, to go where we will, to do what we want?

Life and Freedom has changed to something provisional...and it doesn't feel good to me.

It sucks that your 'first contact' had to be under such circumstances. I can't, realistically, apologize for the shitheads but I do hope that your travels through our country bring better memories when you go home.

You may say that you'll never be back but I'm a firm believer in "Never say never". :)

forestviking said...

Hi London,

thanks for the really nice pictures, from (Alaska and) today, so full of atmospheres and light!

Thought I'd dare a little comment on Your : "I swear, all the good people come out of the rocks when you least expect them to."
There is a saying in Norwegian, that says: "Things sort themselves out for the nice guys ( no second meaning with that;-)", excuse the focus on the male, I'd say:

"Things sort themselves out for life- loving people", they really do...

(Obviously You could do with some help, just then). Never came across this context before moving into this country 3 years ago.

(People use this insight with big joy but not boasting about it.)

Quite eager to read Your list of places You'd like to visit in Europe, I couldn't find it...
Envying You daily for Your trip, I wish You all the best !

London Andrews said...

More than anything - the customs ordeal just wore me down, I was exhausted when I left there. They kept repeating, "Single female, traveling alone, no destination? Really? Come on?" All those officers made me so nervous, like I had something to hide, all those questions.... I was so happy when they told me that I could go onto Vancouver....

I also thought it wouldn't be an issue getting into Canada. I came in through Langley, though... instead of on the 5 because I got lost... they looked bored...

I will be doing a list of all the places I want to visit in Europe when I start my Europe tour ... which will most likely be just after the New Year... : )

forestviking said...

Sure, You were very strained by those repetetive questions, those customs people could not possibly imagine, that Your honest and straight forward answer was but the truth.

Why did You feel, You were hiding something, even though You knew in Your heart,it was the bare truth?

(That it was beyond the customs' brain level, to travel alone and without destination, that's fair enough. But supposing so deliberatly, there was something wrong, is a bit much.)

Enjoy Canada now!