Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Day 2: US Customs, What Fun!!

On the morning of the second day, I took my time getting away, wanting to start out as fresh and as rested as possible. Janice cooked me up a huge breakfast, and took the trouble of preparing lunch for me as well (I didn't even ask, very accomodating and generous folks!). After freeing my car from its prison of ice, I set out on the road again, bound for the good 'ol US of A!

Much of the drive was uneventful to the US border at St. Stephen, NB, with the exception of having to take a detour through the city of Saint John, NB, due to an accident at the Harbour Bridge toll booths. I finally got to the border crossing area at around 2:15pm Atlantic time. I pulled up to the customs agent; the third question out of her mouth after "where are you from?" and "Where are you headed?" was "What's under the tarp?". Thinking I was about to get my car disembowelled via a search, I said that the stuff was personal items, clothes, appliances, etc. Not impressed, she told me to pull over and to park in the visitor's lot.

Inside, she told me that I needed a manifest list of goods that I was carrying to the states for personal use, and that I would have to go back to Canada customs to get that business done. They processed my J1 visa, and then (mistakenly) got my fingerprints and picture taken.

I briefly went back over to thew Canadian side to do up the manifest list, and then after a few more bits of paperwork, I was across the plane. Jimmy was in the U.S.A.!

A little annoyed with the events that just transpired at the border, playing Green Day's American Idiot was quite the stress relief mechanism. I proceeded to drive through the Eastern Maine wilderness to Bangor (had to take another detour due to an accident, where I lerned later on the local newscast that someone had died in the wreck, which didn't surprise me in the least from what I saw).

After having dinner at an Irving Big Stop outside Bangor, I pushed on beyond Portland, Maine to Biddeford, which is in the Old Orchard Beach resort area (highly recommended by me, as I was there this past summer!) I settled in for the night, knowing that I had a lonnnnnnng day ahead of me...


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