Posts Tagged 'INS'

Enjoy Your Stay

Peace Arch US - Canada Border Crossing
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The US – Canada “Peace Arch” border crossing, south of Vancouver, has always been a slightly Kafkaesque experience. In fact, until I got a second, “clean” passport (in which I don’t allow visa stamps from the Islamic Republic of Anywhere) and the new passport card, I used to be routinely “orange carded” upon entering the States, requiring interviews with various INS morons about my activities in countries they couldn’t pronounce or find on a well-labeled map.

My favorite television commercial from the Olympics nicely parodies the experience of crossing into the US from Canada.

My experience going the other way has always been different. Sure, Canadian Border agents are probably no smarter than their American counterparts, wear essentially the same uniforms, ask the same questions, and have the same concerns and jurisdiction. But there is a marked contrast in tone. The same questions asked accusingly by the American officers are asked politely and without any sense of prejudice by the Canadian officers. Going south, one is essentially told, “Okay, we’ll let you enter the US.” Going north, the tenor of the message is, “Welcome to Canada.”

This is a story of a northward crossing.

Continue reading ‘Enjoy Your Stay’


Blasts from the Past

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

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... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

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... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

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... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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