I’m on a bus on my way back to Vancouver, after spending the better portion of the day sitting in a customs office at the US/Canada border. Short version: I got turned away. Turns out, there’s a perfect formula for this; it includes:

  • buying your ticket online, but choosing to pay at the bus station when you pick up the ticket.
  • finding the ticket office closed, and having the bus driver offer to take your driver’s license and let you pay at the other end of the trip
  • not knowing if you’re planning to return Saturday or Sunday, so not booking a return ticket
  • not knowing where you’re staying in Portland, so putting “uncertain” on the customs sheet,
  • not carrying any cash in your wallet, and finally
  • not being able to quickly come up with a good way to prove that you actually live in Canada, when the officer stares you down.
  • Seriously, you’re supposed to travel with six months’ worth of your electrical bills and a copy of your mortgage? Nobody goddamned-well told me that, but apparently that’s what I’ve got to bring to them the next time I want to casually cross the longest unguarded border in the world.