Saturday 26 June 2010

the nightmare continued...

Day 1....
I made my flight to Toronto but now had no choice but to stay overnight, I reserved a room on-line in London at the Howard Johnson in Brampton. Approx 10kms from the airport, not quite sure how the measured this distance or indeed how they defined approximately, let's just say both were less than accurate.
Arrival in Canada was less than pleasant, the Immigration Officer was civil but hit me with a range of questions. The most searching was:
Why did I want to spend a night in Canada?

The answer should have been, of course I don't, I would be happy to never set foot in your crappy country. But i tried to explain that it was out of necessity and not my plan. That my arranagements meant I missed my connection etc. All good. I was granted entry.
Worse was still to come...oh yeah...bring on the bitches in Customs.

Having collected my bag and in the process of exiting the Customs hall, I was stopped by robocop...if you ever seen the UK customs people you will remember they arent armed, except for maybe a pen, these guys had bullet proof vests (I'm in an airport, I have come off a plane, my bag has been x-rayed, I have been through metal detectors) why the hell the need for bullet proof vests?

Customs Officer stops me, asks Why am I coming into Canada for one night? Why am I going to Cleveland? How's idea was it to visit my cousins? Where did they live? What job had I in the UK?
So having answered him, he reached my card back to me and I walked to the exit, but unfortunately he had marked my card to tell the people at the exit that I should be directed to the search hall.
I waited for robocop, the Customs Agent to return to the search hall. He then begun searching my hand carry bag and then my suitcase, he swabbed inside it for drugs, my ring (on my finger) and my iPhone.
He then interrogated me.
Why was I coming to Canada?
Why was I visiting the US?
Had I been to Canada before?
Had I been to the US before?
Whose idea was it to come to the US?
What age were my cousins? Didn't I have any younger cousins?
What was my job? How much leave did I get?
How long had I worked there?
Where did my cousins live?
Would I be doing any sightseeing? What did I plan to see?
It went on and on and on...and then after the swab results came back clear I was told to pack and that I could now exit.
Woohoo, I'm in Canada...and hope this is the only time...such a welcome...
The taxi to the hojo cost $47 canadian...the hotel was a dump and when i dragged my cases upstairs (4 flights without a lift) the room key wouldn't open the door and then a woman inside shouted whose at my door. The idiot at reception had checked her into this room but had her listed in another room...will I ever get to bed?
more later.


alison said...

Sorry you had a bad experience, but Canada isnt a crappy country. We get the same questions each time we cross the border to the usa from US customs, especially if your reason for being there seems odd