Border guards

The other day I decided to try something crazy, which I should have known was nearly impossible in this day and age. I rented a car, drove to Niagara Falls, and, get this, drove across the Rainbow Bridge to Niagara Falls USA.

Crazy, eh? Of course the US is at war, or something, and Canada is a haven for ... movie pirates? I think that's the latest accusation... anyway, I was unprepared for the total jackass that was barring my way to the "Land of the Free".

First, she was quite rude when asking for our ID, which we had thoughtfully brought along in the form of passports. Things went downhill when she asked us whose car we were driving.

"It's a rental," I said.
"Can I see the rental agreement?" she asked.
"Sorry, I don't have it with me."
"Then how do I know who rented this car?"

I was at a loss to answer that when she flew off the handle.

"What are you going to do in the US?"
"Drive around a bit, go shopping"
"So you rented a car, drove all the way from Toronto, just to drive around here? You realize you're entering a foreign country? How am I supposed to know who rented this car? Where do you work? What day are you going back to work? You know they give you the rental agreement for a reason! Put the car in park, give me the keys and pop the trunk!"

She then proceeded to search the car, tapping things to see if they were hollow, or something... frankly she didn't do a good job, since the trunk IS hollow... thank goodness she didn't find my spare tire, or I might have to explain why I needed FIVE tires in my car, wasn't four good enough, did I think US roads were going to give me a flat, etc, etc. Finally she yelled at us that next time we should be more prepared and told us to go across. I resisted to urge to call her a "Shatner-stealing Mexico toucher".

In the end the trip across the border was a complete waste of time; Niagara Falls USA is a squalid hell-hole and I didn't find any good deals on Lego. Even driving there was annoying, because the traffic lights were too close to the stop line, so when you stopped at an intersection you couldn't see the lights anymore.

The best part of the cross-border excursion was the drive back, where I got to feel smug satisfaction at the polite and friendly Canadian customs official who welcomed us home.

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