Phew, it’s over!

28 06 2007

We’re back, all unpacked, the animals have been collected from the Kennels, and are all very happy to see us, and we’re exhausted.

The border crossing was pretty tedious as expected.  There was a pretty long queue of cars waiting to get through, long enough that while I was sitting in the line in the car, edging forward whenever the chance arose, Mark had enough time to get out, wander across the large lawn and photograph the floral Canadian flag, the Peace Arch, and then wander across the International border several times to take more photos, such as the Floral American flag, and wander off for a toilet break.
All the while, I sat in the car, edging forward on the odd occasion.

When we finally made it through to the gates, which took an hour I might add, we were then directed into the Immigration building so that I could obtain a new Immigration Status (I-94) to enter the U.S.A.

The Canadian border is always pleasant, they’re friendly, polite, and appear to be generally happy to see you.  Not so the Americans, you’re lucky if they grunt at you, they’re rude, and very big on interrogation.

I’m here on a Visitors Visa which means I can’t work.  If I do, and this includes volunteering I am breaching my Visa and will be deported.  Each time I’ve had to get an Immigration Card, I’m asked what am I doing here.  To which I reply, I’m here with my partner, who is living and working here, and I’m visiting.  They usually respond “No, what are you doing, you can’t be doing nothing”.  To which I take a small breath so as not to appear agitated, and politely repeat, I’m here visiting, I’m NOT working, and therefore doing nothing, other than going to the gym and looking after the pets.

Believe me, I’d rather be working.  But I also don’t want to be deported.  These people are only doing their job, I understand that, but sheesh, a little civility would go a long way to making the whole process easier, and perhaps making their job that little more enjoyable.  I foolishly asked what a double asterisk on my Visa meant, only to be shot down with “Why?  Why don’t you want to know what the top codes mean?  Or the bottom codes”…


By this stage I already had my Visa in my hand, so I smiled, laughed, and said I was only curious and left.

Oh well, I’m back.  I love Canada, Australia is still home, but I’m currently living in the USA.  I’ll make the best of it.

Ahh…  I did however, prior to leaving Canada, purchase a small Australian Flag for inside the house, a larger one to display outside the house, and a sticker of the flag to put on the car.  The guy at the Flag Shop in Canada asked why I wanted so many.  I smiled and said, firstly I refuse to purchase an Australian Flag in a country that isn’t part of the Commonwealth (which is why I got them in Canada not the USA), and that we’re proud of our country of origin.  He was impressed and gave me a discount.  GOD I LOVE THE COMMONWEALTH! 😉

That’s it, I’m tired, it’s been a big day, I’m going to get off the PC and have an early night.