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Author Topic: Afraid to go?
Gary
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posted 17 April 2001 02:11 PM      Profile for Gary   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We were considering going to England this year. My wife and I are both 50 and we thought it would be a nice treat. One of the reasons we decided not to go is the Hoof and Mouth Disease epidemic that has closed off many of the tourist areas we would have liked to visit.

What kinds of things make you change your mind about travel? Is the Middle East unrest making you avoid that area? Is the AIDS epidemic if Africa making you stay away?

Or do you travel without fear?


From: On line | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 17 April 2001 07:08 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd go to the USA, but... you know... Americans.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Chabs
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posted 17 April 2001 08:14 PM      Profile for Chabs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, but hey. We've got the Space Needle!

The only time I canceled travel plans was when I was preparing to visit Cairo, was diligently attempting to get pregnant and my OB/GYN said "no way are you taking Malaria pills". *sigh* And I did so want to visit Cairo.


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Cosmorific
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posted 18 April 2001 01:34 PM      Profile for Cosmorific        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Whassamatter, Audra? Scared to meet us on our own turf?

I'm ashamed to admit this now, but when I was spending my junior year in France, I didn't go to the British isles because a school enemy of mine was spending her junior year there, and I didn't want to risk running into her. Immature but true.


From: Right here, right now | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
rouser
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posted 18 April 2001 03:10 PM      Profile for rouser     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Polution and Globalization are keeping me more and more at home. Between the lack of air quality, and, lord knows what next, new virus possibly out there; perhaps in a few decades we will require sealed suits and oxygen tanks for our travel plans!
As long as the obvious is ignored by those in power, the future, let alone foreign tourism is bleak... for those who will not be able to afford the suits! (most of us)

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Michelle
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posted 08 July 2003 09:02 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is an interesting thread, all the more so because it's relevant in a different way now than when it was active.

I haven't gone to any other country than the US, and I've only been to the US once in over a decade, so it's not like my style is being cramped by world events. But whereas 15 years ago, crossing the border to the US was nothing major, I wouldn't be able to do it now without at least some apprehension.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 08 July 2003 11:44 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've decided I don't even want to go to the United States, especially given that the fascist bastards are doing this to people.

And since I hate flying, I'll have to be happy with boat cruises to Europe or Australia or wherever should I actually want to leave Canada.

So yeah, I'm a real stay-at-home.


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Tommy M
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posted 09 July 2003 11:42 AM      Profile for Tommy M     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Coincidently enough, I flew to the UK April 27, 2001. It wasn't that bad - Urban tourist sites were open, I do remember seeing a couple of roads closed due to Foot and Mouth.

I also went a couple of months ago, and was suprised at the security - it was no different than any other time I have flown to the UK. (And we flew into Manchester the day the British Army went into Heathrow).

My wife is trying to convince me we should go to Disneyland but I really don't want to go to the US either - as much to do with apprehension crossing the border as to not wanting to contribute in any way to their economy.


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Black Dog
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posted 09 July 2003 12:01 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You want to talk scary? I'm heading into the veritable belly of the beast in September: Texas! Actually checking out a music festival in Austin. Should be a blast, provided I don't get ass-probed going through customs. Dude, that would suck, dude.

Other than that, I'm not really concerned with safety or anything. I mean, no sense living in fear.


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Meowful
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posted 09 July 2003 12:22 PM      Profile for Meowful   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I haven't been across the border in years. The article, thanks DrConway, said that you need either a birth certificate or pass port. I can understand using a pass port for ID, but not a birth certificate -- its' just a piece of paper with no picture; I could very easily just take my sister's... Why would they not accept a driver's licence? It has a picture... and an address... and a unique identifier (DL #). I just don't get these crazy neighbours of ours, so I'll stay home and spend my loonies here
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lagatta
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posted 09 July 2003 12:40 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I sure wouldn't go to the US nowadays, with the current harassment of antiwar and other activists - I'd already had problems at the US border in the past. Too bad, because one of my best friends (a prof in France) is teaching a summer class in Ann Arbor and doesn't think he'll have time to make a side-trip to Montréal or even Toronto.

I flew to Paris the week after September the 11th to attend a conference. Weird airport scene, and almost empty plane.

There is no reason to take silly risks, but at the same time we must keep in mind how much safer the lives of First-World people are in comparison to folks in most of the world. Travel is important. So many of us nowadays have friends and family on many continents.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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posted 10 July 2003 12:29 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I go across the border pretty regularly, as my sister lives in Seattle. (In fact, I spent Canada Day in the US -- does that make me a traitor? )

We've never had any problems getting thru -- except once, the first trip after the mad-cow scare broke. On that occasion, in addition to all the usual questions, the officer threw in at the end, "Are you carrying any beef products?" My father, who was driving, got a little flustered by this unexpected departure from the routine, and made the mistake of snickering a bit. The officer repeated his question, more sternly: "Are you carrying any beef products, sir???" My dad shrugged and said, "I don't think so" or something like that, in a joking tone.

At this point, things got positively icy: "It's a very serious question, sir. I could make you turn around and head right back to Canada, sir."... etc.

Meanwhile, I'm in the back seat, my eyes bugging out as I stare at the massive holstered gun bulging off the officer's hip. I was starting to plan how I was going to decorate my cell in Guantanamo Bay, when everything settled down, and it was established that no, we did not have any contraband cow products on board, and we were waved thru.

Lesson: don't fuck around with these guys, not even slightly. They ain't kiddin'.


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Michelle
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posted 10 July 2003 12:53 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When I crossed the border earlier this year, they didn't only accept a birth certificate - I had to have a piece of photo ID with it. They accepted my birth certificate and my driver's license together.

I can just see your father snickering while wondering if he'd had any beef for lunch that day that he might have been "carrying" across.

They asked me a TON of questions. I couldn't believe it. And personal ones too. When I told them my occupation was university student, they even asked to see my student ID card. Wild. I was made nervous just by all the questions, and then I worried that I looked nervous.

[ 10 July 2003: Message edited by: Michelle ]


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Trisha
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posted 10 July 2003 12:56 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm going to B.C. before summer is over and while there, will be going to an island near Seattle. I've checked and my birth certificate and photo health card will be acceptable, unless something new happens. Good thing as I no longer have a driver's licence and can't afford a passport.
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Scout
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posted 10 July 2003 12:49 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
We were considering going to England this year.

Go.

Just got back less than two weeks ago. We had a wonderful time and the weather was fantastic.


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worker_drone
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posted 10 July 2003 01:16 PM      Profile for worker_drone        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I go to the states regularly (pre and post 9/11)and I'm appreshensive about the border every single time. I used to think US border guards were the world's meanest until I experienced some East German ones

You can get into the states with photo id and a birth certicate, but they don't like it. They prefer you have a passport. If you go down without one, be prepared to explain why you don't have it.

And always smile and be polite! Never be rude to a customs officer...never ever ever ever ever, no matter what country you're going to. It just ain't worth it.


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Trisha
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posted 10 July 2003 02:30 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm always polite to anyone who even thinks they have authority. It makes life easier and they don't have to know what I'm really thinking.

My camera was dusted for some unknown reason when I was leaving Ottawa but my back massager was not even looked at. I would have done it the other way around. They were more concerned that my medical alert bracelet set off the alarms. I know they will be worse about this on entry to the U.S. I'll carry lots of id and I don't have a passport because I never travel anywhere one is needed and I can't afford one. I hope that will be enough to satisfy them.


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DrConway
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posted 10 July 2003 06:19 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by leftylicious:
And always smile and be polite! Never be rude to a customs officer...never ever ever ever ever, no matter what country you're going to. It just ain't worth it.

Oh yeah.

My rules to anyone going across the border:

1. Answer all questions as directly and with as little wasted time as possible.
2. Never volunteer information. If they don't ask about the trunk, you don't open the trunk.

Boom.


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 10 July 2003 10:24 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Until they have regime change, followed by a few years of re-education, there is no way I am going to try to cross the border into the Amerikan Democratic Republic.

I'll be touching down in the land of pommes frites, liberté, egalité et fraternité in a few days, though. I suppose I'll see the usual Pays de la Loire stuff, but we hope to get down to Carcassonne (maybe even to Montaillou!). I'd like to stop by Oradour-sur-Glane sometime along the way...


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Trisha
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posted 11 July 2003 05:00 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd love to go to Europe but the money's never been there. I've been all across Canada though so that's not bad. I know lots of people who haven't been more than 100 or so miles from home.
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kuba walda
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posted 11 July 2003 11:18 AM      Profile for kuba walda        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I used to say there was no where I wouldn't go, especially when I lived in Europe. Now I wouldn't cross the border.

ALso after listening to a Hawaiian (spelling??) anti-tourism group I won't be going back there. but true.


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jeff house
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posted 11 July 2003 05:02 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I used to think US border guards were the world's meanest until I experienced some East German ones

I used to dislike the US border cops more than I do now. The world's worst, in my opinion, were the ones guarding the road from Ohrid, Yugoslavia into Albania. For one thing, they insisted on speaking Albanian. For another, if you didn't understand them, they would yell in Albanian. I was pretty sure they were going to hit me, too.


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kuba walda
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posted 11 July 2003 05:17 PM      Profile for kuba walda        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The world's worst, in my opinion, were the ones guarding the road from Ohrid, Yugoslavia into Albania

Was this recently?


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Michelle
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posted 11 July 2003 06:14 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Did you get across the border?
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 11 July 2003 06:17 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This was about 15 years or so ago, when the Great Leader Enver Hoxha was in power (and Yugoslavia existed).

Michelle, they refused me entry! The nerve of them guys.


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'lance
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posted 11 July 2003 06:21 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For a cheap laugh, jeff, you could have had somebody tip off the local CPC-ML to the fact that Albania had refused you entry. They'd have publicly denounced you as a counter-revolutionary running dog of the... waittaminute, that was the Maoists. Anyway it could have been funny.
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kuba walda
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posted 11 July 2003 06:37 PM      Profile for kuba walda        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think you have to be careful about things like that 'lance. It wasn't at a border, but I quite innocently tried to get into Pearl Harbour during Gulf Was I. I honestly thought it was the memorial. We just took a wrong turn somewhere. The guy with the gun was none too friendly.

kuba, doesn't mess with gun totin' bitches - well not anymore anyhow


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'lance
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posted 11 July 2003 06:59 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think you have to be careful about things like that 'lance.

Well yeah, but I was making a joke (not a very good one, perhaps) about the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), who were -- and are, if there are any left -- a bunch of buffoons. (What else can you say about folks who formed a cheering section for Enver Hoxha from ten thousand miles away?) I doubt if a single one of them owned a weapon -- for one thing, you have to know one end from the other.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 11 July 2003 07:04 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You know, if the Marxist-Leninist Party and the Communist Party would get together instead of remaining separate parties and splitting the far left vote, they could really be a force to be [email protected]#$^*[email protected]#$

#$^#&

NO CARRIER


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 July 2003 08:18 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This was back in 1978, but the meanest border guards I ever saw -- if you were North African or black, especially -- were the French guards who climbed on to the train heading back into France from Belgium and the Netherlands.

They obviously found me boring, but I was shocked at the searches they did on French foreign residents who had, apparently, been shopping in Brussels. (Don't ask me ...) Body searches, right there on the train, in front of everyone. Bags gone through, stuff tossed out of bags. Unmistakably racist.

Welcome to Paris, skdadl.

Near cousins of those guys seemed to be running the paddy wagons permanently parked in Place Saint Michel.

The last couple of trips I've made to Paris I haven't been so aware of the French cops, but then I've looked so much older and more square. lagatta, maybe you can tell us: do they still have a tough rep?


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lagatta
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posted 11 July 2003 08:28 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yep. One thing they sure would no longer do is go through shoppers' bags arriving from Belgium - there are no border controls whatsoever within the European Community. (except during things like G8 summits ) . Things eased up for several years in terms of harassing Blacks and North Africans, but there has been a recent clampdown on "antisocial behaviour", targeting such groups as derelicts and street prostitutes - hard to believe in Paris.

I never had the problems getting into France that I did at the US border. Since I speak fluent French it is a bit different and they think Québec accents are cute (it is a bit condescending, but no time to argue...).

[ 11 July 2003: Message edited by: lagatta ]


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 12 July 2003 03:50 AM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
I've decided I don't even want to go to the United States, especially given that the fascist bastards are doing this to people.

And since I hate flying, I'll have to be happy with boat cruises to Europe or Australia or wherever should I actually want to leave Canada.

So yeah, I'm a real stay-at-home.



Oh my God, no crossing the border for slurpees! Facists indeed!

Anyone who refuses to go to the USA for political reasons is as silly as the Americans with their "freedom fries" and refusal to travel to France for political reasons.


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beluga2
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posted 12 July 2003 04:39 AM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, well, Gir, I can travel across the US border without too much worry, as my eyes are bluer than blue and my skin is as white as Michael Jackson's. So I don't fit anyone's idea of a "racial profile".

A lot of my non-white friends aren't so lucky, particularly those of a Muslim or Middle Eastern background. Many of them refuse to set foot on US territory. One friend (born in Pakistan) went so far as to rearrange the itinerary of a trip to East Asia so that he wouldn't have to stop in Hawaii for a connecting flight. And given the horror stories we've been hearing for the last couple years, of people being arbitrarily harrassed, deported, arrested, or vanishing without a trace into the black hole of the US detention system, I can't say I blame him one bit.


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 12 July 2003 08:51 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Exactly. Although I had to laugh when I read Doc's link about the guys going for a slurpee in the US. What idiots. "Gee, I don't have proper ID, but can you let us in anyhow?" Dummies. No, sorry, you have to have proof of CITIZENSHIP, not just a driver's license. Anyone can get a driver's license in Canada. Yeah, what a bunch of fascists, won't let in a couple of kids with no ID, in a car that doesn't belong to them, who claim they're just crossing the border for slurpees. Whatever.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 12 July 2003 09:39 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gir, I wouldn't refuse to go to the States because of political disagreement with the Bush administration - I have friends in the States I'd love to visit, and they aren't responsible for Bush. However, I do refuse to go because I've already been harassed at the US border (and yes, I did have I.D.) and really don't feel like being grilled.
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 12 July 2003 04:46 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
US Customs officials have a long track record of feeling their oats more often than necessary. Go ahead, mock the fella who wrote the article. Wait until they find a flimsy excuse to knock people out who've been even better prepared, and then tell me you're still going to slag the better-prepared individual.

You gonna say they should have replaced the comma in the letter of introduction with a period?


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 12 July 2003 05:10 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What? What are you ranting about?

They were dumbasses. Yeah, sure, you're right, I WILL have a problem with it if US Customs detains people who are actually prepared to cross the border. Because the difference between that and the dorks in this article is that they will have been properly prepared and have the right paperwork!

Of course I won't slag the better-prepared individual. Because the better-prepared individual will be prepared to cross the border!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 12 July 2003 06:17 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
.. and if US Customs is still as unreasonable and refuses entry?
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 12 July 2003 06:25 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Then I will have a problem with it, because it is unreasonable to refuse entry to someone who has the proper paperwork. It is not unreasonable to refuse entry to someone who does not have the proper paperwork. And calling them "fascist" for not letting people in without the proper paperwork is ridiculous.

Why is this so difficult to understand?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 12 July 2003 07:44 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Because in my experience with crossing the border and in discussions with people who have done so as far back as the early 1990s, US Customs officials in particular seem to be conditioned into an attitude that arises out of the fact that the majority of them now train first on the Mexican border and then get transferred north later when they have some seniority.

It means that they look at everyone through the lens of whether or not someone is a potential illegal immigrant, terrorist or whatnot even though the vast majority of Canadians are even less likely than Mexicans to be even illegal immigrants and furthermore, people from the US enter Canada and vice versa all the time for the most superficial of reasons - a classic example is how all the Americans jam up the clubs here on Pride Day weekend.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 12 July 2003 11:09 PM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The US has the right to ensure some measure of border security. Just letting in anyone, no questions asked would be a very risky proposition.

Why SHOULD the US just leave the border completely unguarded- we don't!


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Lima Bean
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posted 17 July 2003 03:24 PM      Profile for Lima Bean   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Anyone who refuses to go to the USA for political reasons is as silly as the Americans with their "freedom fries" and refusal to travel to France for political reasons.

I take exception to this. I don't think there's anything the least bit silly about being political with my consumer choices. If I don't believe in the American war effort, and I don't want to support it, then the only option I have is to take every step to assure that MY money doesn't end up supporting their economy in any way. It's fairly futile, it would seem, but it's my right and my duty to put my money where my mouth is.

What's silly is having politics and not living up to them.

[ 17 July 2003: Message edited by: Lima Bean ]


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Mandos
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posted 17 July 2003 03:38 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Due to the fact that most of the research in my field is conducted down south, and so are the conferences and workshops, I sort of occasionally have to expect to go the US. So very recently I went, missing Canada Day like beluga. I was very well prepared (passport and all documentation). Note that I am exactly in the Problem Demographic--young, brown, and with a name from you-know-where.

On the way there, the customs guy looked at my passport, and then asked me questions that sounded way more like he was worried that I was going to work illegally than to carry out Evil Acts. After seeing my invitation to the workshop, he wanted to know how I was being funded for it and things like that. I guess my nerdly look and tone of voice and accent put me in Illegal Tech Worker category rather than in villain category. I was too honest about my lunch and had to be inspected by the USDA food cops.

Once I had come back home after a couple of weeks, I discovered that on the way back they had inspected my luggage behind the curtains, going so far as to leave me a nice apology note.

Being there, well, being on a university campus is very much like being in Canada. I had no real problems there because I think I was in a rather liberal part of the US (coastal). Anyway, until things get much worse, despite being in a problem demographic, I'm not so afraid to go again. My parents, not to mention skdadl, were terrified I might get sent to Guantanamo Bay or something, but nothing like that happened. Rather, I got bitten on the way back by the rather dilapidated municipal infrastructure in the part of the US where I was.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 17 July 2003 03:42 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that Big Ell is right.

People must be aware: if you are not an American citizen, you no longer have the kinds of protections that are generally recognized elsewhere. You could be disappeared by Mr Ashcroft's minions or others, and in extreme cases, you, your family, your home government would have no recourse.

Now, it is true: you might make the argument that that is unlikely to happen to you, as it is to me, because I have dead-white skin and freckles (on top of which I am both a gril and oldish).

But what kind of creep exults in knowing that she gets a get-out-of-jail-free card on the basis of her "race"?

Many of your fellow citizens are in real danger if they cross the USian border. What makes you better than they are?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 17 July 2003 03:45 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I got bitten on the way back by the rather dilapidated municipal infrastructure in the part of the US where I was.

Huh? They have snakes in DC?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 17 July 2003 03:54 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It was Baltimore, not DC. I spent only one too-hot day in DC, just so I could say I was there on the 4th of July.

No, what happened was that the Baltimore trains had to be shut down for maintenance, only very little notice was given, since no one really cares (the bus drivers and transit phone operators hadn't been told, for instance, even though it was a planned shutdown). However, I was depending on the trains to get me and my new friend to the airport. The train shutdown caused me hours of headache. It's a long story. My friend almost missed his flight.

It was a good idea to go, in hindsight. I met a large number of friends, a few of whom seem to want to stick, one of whom I must recruit someday for babble, and I met a lot of Famous People, including people from Montreal who thought I should apply for a PhD with them despite being mostly anglo (U de M is francophone). Baltimore itself is a boring city and I wouldn't recommend going there for fun.

[ 17 July 2003: Message edited by: Mandos ]


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
LocoMoto
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posted 17 July 2003 04:03 PM      Profile for LocoMoto        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wonder what would happen to much of the fear and loathing of the US so commonly expressed on this board if more babblers actually spent some time down here. I'm glad Mandos had decent experience. I would have been very surprised and dismayed had it been otherwise.
From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scout
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posted 17 July 2003 04:10 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I wonder what would happen to much of the fear and loathing of the US so commonly expressed on this board if more babblers actually spent some time down here.

Why don't you watch your generalization buddy. Perhaps if more American's travelled there would be a lot less of your so caled "fear and loathing", which was set in Las Vegas by the way. Not on babble or in Canada.

It wouldn't occur to you to look with your own nation to see any problems, it's just everybody else that has issues. That's called paranoia.


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 17 July 2003 04:10 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What does the name Maher Arar mean to you, Locomoto?
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 17 July 2003 04:29 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just because I had a reasonably non-problematic experience, doesn't mean there aren't problems. I have also heard negative stories, too.

For instance, I replaced my passport before going because I had a highly problematic visa on my old passport. Imagine if I hadn't replaced it. I suspect I may have had at least a little bit more trouble. I went to a great deal of effort to screen my luggage, etc, for problematic artifacts, so that the only incriminating thing would be my name and skin. I made sure I had paper documentation from my hosts in Baltimore.

Other people aren't able, for various reasons, to launder themselves so well as I. Had I been unable to self-launder, I would have been more hesitant.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 17 July 2003 06:08 PM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While this was quite aways back, someone mentioned not going to Cairo because of malaria pills.... whoever told you you'd need to take them? I spent 2 weeks in Egypt in Summer 2002 and no one told me I'd need them. Egypt doesn't have a lot of mosquitos (despite the name "West Nile Virus") - it's too dry.

Regarding "afraid to go?", I was told numerous times by family members and friends (but no government sources) to avoid Egypt as "Middle Eastern country" but happily ignored it. The one change I did was switching from a solo travelling plan to a Contiki tour after I couldn't find any reasonably priced hotels. This was a good idea simply for the social factor (I had been travelling Europe on my own for 2 months or so by then and was getting mighty sick of meeting people for less than a day or so before moving on.)

I really feel that if you deny yourself a trip solely out of fear (I'm not talking about real problems, that have government travel advisories, etc.) you're denying yourself a great chance to learn and grow.


From: an employer more progressive than rabble.ca | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 17 July 2003 09:23 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by LocoMoto:
I wonder what would happen to much of the fear and loathing of the US so commonly expressed on this board if more babblers actually spent some time down here. I'm glad Mandos had decent experience. I would have been very surprised and dismayed had it been otherwise.

Buddy, I have spent time in the United States of America. I have gone down on numerous occasions ranging from a few hours to several weeks.

I have met several people in the USA from several demographics, et cetera and ad nauseam.

In my travels I have found that individual Americans are mostly fine people to get along with. However, in spite of all this the United States is a culture with several elements I feel uncomfortable with - for example, nowhere have I seen strips and strips of boarded-up buildings as I did in San Francisco, California - or sights straight out of the Great Depression in the prosperous (!) 1990s with haggard middle-aged males who clearly had spent years being homeless wearing signs saying "WILL WORK FOR FOOD". The astonishingly poor maintenance of the I-5 and other highways is inexcusable for a nation which is so wealthy, yet cannot seem to maintain its basic infrastructure. Even through Seattle I'd hit stretches of concrete where my car would go BaDUMPbaDUMPbaDUMP like I was driving in freakin' Mexico.

The funny thing is that individual Americans I met with also largely wish that they would get government health insurance. They always asked to see my health care card, the ones I met


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 17 July 2003 09:53 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've been down too. And for the record, it is not Americans that so much fear and loathing is directed at. It is your government which is only too willing to kill for Texaco.
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
rosweed
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posted 27 July 2003 04:39 PM      Profile for rosweed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As Canadian born but now an American citizen (just like Peter Jennings), I'm glad to see that not everyone harbors radically anti-American feelings. Pray for regime change, but don't assume everyone here thinks like W and his Bushies. Some of the most friendly people I've ever met are here in New York City. As far as the infrastructure goes, the worst roads I've ever driven on are here in New York City-the center of the universe. But while I was in Halifax a couple of weeks ago, I hit a pothole that nearly ripped my front wheel off. Glad it was rental! As far as boarded up communities, ever been to parts of Nova Scotia or northern Ontario?
From: Brooklyn NY | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 27 July 2003 05:20 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey. Toronto is the centre of the universe. Get it right.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Harry Balzac
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posted 29 July 2003 07:01 PM      Profile for Harry Balzac     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
....and if you want to pinpoint it exactly, it's at the centre of the intersection at Yonge and Eglinton.
From: where the Eglinton subway line should run... | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 29 July 2003 07:17 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Might want to edit that post, HB. I think you've mispledded "Bloor and Brunswick," there.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 29 July 2003 08:09 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey, I saw on a web site somewhere recently that Yonge and Eglinton has the nickname Young and Eligible because of the high yuppie content there. I had no idea. Never heard that one before.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 29 July 2003 08:13 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had a bike courier friend who said if she ever wrote a book she'd call it "At the corner of Yonge and Stupid"
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 29 July 2003 08:17 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, in any case, it made me laugh. That's exactly the type of lifestyle (young and eligible) that the condos and apartments seem to advertise for that area, not to mention all the desperately trendy shops and restaurants.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 03 August 2003 10:38 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's another reason to avoid going to the US, or even changing planes there:
http://news.independent.co.uk/low_res/story.jsp?story=430073&host=3&dir=70

US anti-war activists hit by secret airport ban

After more than a year of complaints by some US anti-war activists that they were being unfairly targeted by airport security, Washington has admitted the existence of a list, possibly hundreds or even thousands of names long, of people it deems worthy of special scrutiny at airports.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 03 August 2003 11:16 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yup. Those 71-yr-old nuns from Milwaukee -- we all know about them. Gotta watch 'em, for sure.

babble must be under the TSA's radar, though, if Mandos-guy didn't get hassled.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 11 August 2003 11:08 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Afraid to go to Turkey? Maybe. My son wants us all to rendezvous for Christmas in Istanbul this year. (I know, it's an Islamic country, let's say Winter Solstice in Istanbul.) Has anyone been there recently? Two and a half years ago we all did Christmas in Rome, wonderful, and I suppose Istanbul will be just as interesting? Maybe a little too interesting?
From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 11 August 2003 11:33 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I didn't get hassled at the border earlier this year either. But then, I crossed in a car, not by plane.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 11 August 2003 11:41 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
just got a job offer from Bechtel in Iraq.what do you think fly or drive? humvee or kiowa?
From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 11 August 2003 11:49 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

just got a job offer from Bechtel in Iraq.what do you think fly or drive? humvee or kiowa?

Wow, what sort of job, if you don't mind my asking?

From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 11 August 2003 11:52 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wouldn't get into the US of A. I post on Babble. Bright red colour.
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 11 August 2003 11:56 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
industrial electrician.takes a lot of skilled bodies to build a power grid,water treatment plant,sewage treatment plant,etc...
and its american capitalist dollars that i promise to spend in socialist canada.

From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 11 August 2003 11:57 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Me too, but I got in. However, I think I would probably not fly there. If I ever go again, I'll be driving.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 12 August 2003 12:43 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by redshift:
just got a job offer from Bechtel in Iraq.what do you think fly or drive? humvee or kiowa?

You're kidding. Whoa.

I don't think I could ethically take such a job, myself.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 12 August 2003 01:48 AM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Besides, it's more than a bit risky. If the armed resistance picks up steam as it seems to be doing (look at this article) there might not be much distinction made between American troops and foreign contract workers. Not a great way to go, being shot somewhere far from home and not a great way to live having to worry about it.
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
satana
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posted 12 August 2003 05:50 AM      Profile for satana     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Istanbul is a European city. The rest of Turkey is Asian. But its all interesting. Just watch your purse/backpack.

Where in Iraq could you be working redshift? How long?


From: far away | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 12 August 2003 09:16 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
no specifics as yet, recruiting thru my union.
ethics are a problemmatic issue. no one wants to profit from someone else's misery, but someone has to step up and rebuild infrastructure.
sounds like a two-three year hitch.

From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sine Ziegler
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posted 12 August 2003 09:57 PM      Profile for Sine Ziegler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I recently came back from travelling in Scandinavia. Totally safe, no issues there but I was scared of losing my passport, or breaking my leg because I didn't buy health insurance. I'm a dual citizen with Denmark/Canada but I didn't want to get into a mess.

The only problem that I encoutered was that I was in the middle of Copenhagen checking out the touristy sites of the city and I got really sick in the middle of the day. I had just left one relative's house and was planning on taking a 2 hour train to another relative's house to stay. I reallly badly wanted a bed to sleep in and recover because I was feeling so incredibly ill.

The scary thing about travelling ( or more.. the uncomfortable thing ) is that if you get sick, you can't just go home and lie in your bed. I ended up sleeping in a city park on the grass but it was really rough. There were tourists staring at me, and it was noisy and dirty and I didn't feel any better. I had no bathroom to puke in when I was going through the worst of whatever I had, and I didn't know how serious my illness was. Fortunately I can speak decent Danish so I was able to communicate with a Pharmacist about my condition and get some medicine but they have different kinds of medicines in every country. ie: tylenol is banned in the UK ( isnt it?) And they don't have Tylenol in Denmark.

It was a bad bad bad day being a sick tourist.

I also find that the long haul plane rides are hardly worth the travel. ick ick.


From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 13 August 2003 04:23 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
An old friend of mine was recently strip searched trying to get out of the US. Get this: he's in his late seventies, with stooped shoulders and a shuffling walk, and white hair; hey he's old. Why did they strip search him? Because they could. Their excuse was that he was getting on a plane to fly back to Canada.
From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
kuba walda
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posted 13 August 2003 04:56 PM      Profile for kuba walda        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Perhaps the more interesting question is why you have to be a "natural-born" American to be President.

Terrorists come in all shapes and sizes.

But seriously US Customs Officers have always been pricks. My son went down to the US with his Dad camping a couple of years ago. And it wasn't until they got to Washington state that they realized he had no ID and he was taking the ferry back and had to go through customs. I went down with his passport, etc. to meet him and their attitude was basically "Fu** off" Talk about rude. Then they proceeded to interrogate my kid and yell at him about his ID. He was like Mom's out there you can go get her.... What pricks he was only 13.


From: the garden | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 13 August 2003 05:00 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
But seriously US Customs Officers have always been pricks.

Perhaps, though in my experience the Customs guys were reasonable -- it was at Immigration, the gauntlet of which you have to run first if you're at Vancouver Airport and flying (say) to Los Angeles, where they were tense and officious.

The official title is "Immigration and Naturalization Service," and they seem to think their job is to prevent immigration and naturalization.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
kuba walda
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posted 13 August 2003 05:05 PM      Profile for kuba walda        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The official title is "Immigration and Naturalization Service," and they seem to think their job is to prevent immigration and naturalization.

That's the job of Canadian Immigration officers too!


From: the garden | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 13 August 2003 05:24 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, yes, that's true too. It's just that I haven't bumped up against that aspect of their jobs myself. They've always allowed as how, yes, they suppose I can come back into the country...
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
kuba walda
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posted 13 August 2003 05:33 PM      Profile for kuba walda        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
'oops I just realiszed kidlet was coming into the country - those were our pricks!
From: the garden | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 13 August 2003 05:41 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, as I always say, there's no pricks like your own pricks.

(Actually I almost never say this. In fact I've probably never said it before. But so goes the expression).


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 13 August 2003 05:50 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
'oops I just realiszed kidlet was coming into the country - those were our pricks!

I used to work as a role-play actor for the RCMP's Human Relations dept. here at Depot Division, where all the recruits get their training... Anyway, we also used to get Immigration officers through on training programs. They were the worst. At the least hint of anything, they'd get physical. I'd come out of their with finger-mark bruises on my arms, been kicked quite viciously in the knee to knock me down... After one of my other actors got his face mashed into a wall with a body slam, I finally had to tell the instructors in charge that if they didn't make it clear that using my employees (I was a contractor) as punching bags was a major no-no, we wouldn't do any more Immigration sessions. The buggers wouldn't even stop when we called "Time Out".

And they felt justified. "Cops get guns, we don't, we have to be rough". And got a real charge out of being as big an asshole as possible, which, of course, exacerbates the situation, makes it hostile. And they resented HAVING to take Human Relations training.

There seems to be a culture of nastiness in that particular gov't department... Them and Revenue Canada...

[ 13 August 2003: Message edited by: Zoot Capri ]


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
kuba walda
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posted 13 August 2003 06:32 PM      Profile for kuba walda        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How horrible. But if humans can smell nastiness, I always get more paranoid around immigration than even thep olice - even when I haven't done anything.

[ 13 August 2003: Message edited by: kuba walda ]


From: the garden | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sine Ziegler
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posted 14 August 2003 12:31 AM      Profile for Sine Ziegler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mwaaha thats actually kind of funny Zoot. I mean. not the bruises and such but when I applied to be a student Customs Officer, I had to go through a role playing part. I had absolutely no idea what the policies and procedures were at that time ( and we were allowed to make them up )and I had to get the names, addresses, and other info from two American tourists. I thought it was going to be easy but the actors were really rude. They cussed. I tried not to laugh but then they started shoving ME., and one even lit up a smoke in a Federal building. I failed the exercise because I told them to go outside and smoke out there while I held onto their passports and drivers liscences. and got the information that way.
From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sine Ziegler
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posted 14 August 2003 12:35 AM      Profile for Sine Ziegler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh and do you have any idea what kind of abuse Immigrations and Naturalization employees, and CCRA employees take?

I know it certainly ins't an excuse for bad behaviour on their part but you can only imagine the kinds of people we have to deal with.


From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 14 August 2003 02:17 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I can imagine the crap people put up with. I did Human Relations training for 8 years. I gave them lots of stuff to test with. But more I&N officers used excessive force on the actors than any group of police recruits I ever tested, some of it unprovoked, and all of it in scenarios designed to have peaceable endings (for the most part) if you do it right.

The thing one should also remember in a training situation is that these people are ACTORS. I even ran into officers who thought hurting my actors was funny. More cowboys per capita than the general run, I found.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sine Ziegler
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posted 14 August 2003 10:42 PM      Profile for Sine Ziegler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From Calgary.cbc.ca

This is why Customs Officers are so vigilante with ID's, even for 13 year olds.

http://calgary.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=ca_abduct20030814

Web Posted Aug 14 2003 11:27 AM MDT
<<...OLE_Obj...>>
Customs officers stop abduction Calgary - An attempted abduction was
thwarted at the border, when Canadian customs officials decided to search
the car of a woman and her 13-year-old son.

Officers found documents that indicated the boy's father had sole custody
and that the Colorado woman was not to leave the state with him. They also
found seven grams of methamphetamine in the car. The woman was charged with
importing a controlled substance by the RCMP, and both she and her son were
turned over to Colorado police. Gordon Lucia, with Canada Customs, says
since 1986, more than 1,200 missing or abducted children have been
discovered as they try to cross the border. "Any time that someone arrives
at the Canadian border, coming into Canada with children, they can expect to
be questioned, in detail, and their documents to be examined in detail, to
make sure that the children are indeed with the right adult," he said.
"That's why we're always recommending that you have sufficient ID, not only
for yourself, but the children you're travelling with


From: Calgary | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 16 August 2003 02:12 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'll be touching down in the land of pommes frites, liberté, egalité et fraternité in a few days, though. I suppose I'll see the usual Pays de la Loire stuff, but we hope to get down to Carcassonne (maybe even to Montaillou!). I'd like to stop by Oradour-sur-Glane sometime along the way...

Just got back a couple of days ago. Beat the blackout in Pearson Int'l by less than 24 hours.

Stayed in Carcassonne two days, saw Montségur and visited Montaillou. The Inquisition did its job - no Cathars in sight, although the tourist industry now pushes the area as the "Pays des Cathares." I managed to get to Oradour as well. Each place where the SS shot the townsmen is marked. I went in the church where the town's women and children were killed. They were burned alive. The church's bell was a melted lump. *A holiday in someone else's misery?*

So I asked everyone at a family gathering what they thought about "freedom fries" and France bashing in the US. The ensuing chill was palpable, then my beaufrère said "La bave du crapeau n'atteint pas la blanche colombe." I let it drop, and never again asked any French people their opinion about the USA.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 16 August 2003 10:10 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm glad your trip went well - there are a number of good web sites on Oradour - I posted one a while back on the Mel Gibson thread (as he falsely attributed a similar atrocity to the British army in his dreadful film "The Patriot".

I don't think visiting the sites of Nazi terror and the persecution of the Cathares mean having a holiday at the expense of others' pain. It is important to get a historical perspective on the places you are visiting.

I can see the French being really pissed off at the boycott France and freedom fries stuff. I've been to Dieppe and to the D-Day beaches and the French lovingly tend the graves there and talk about the landings as if they happened yesterday.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 17 August 2003 10:42 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Istanbul is a European city. The rest of Turkey is Asian. But its all interesting. Just watch your purse/backpack.

I've heard that before, but on the other hand, isn't Turkey's Mediterranean coast more European than most of the country? Certainly Izmir (once called Smyrna), almost 2.5 million people, with its socialist mayor and its new subway system (cool web site) sounds quite attractive. So does the whole coast down through Antalya ("the Turkish Riviera") as far as Mersin, which all voted for the secular left opposition last November while the interior, and even Istanbul, voted for the islamists.

But maybe I'm just dreaming of escaping Ernie Eves' Ontario. Although my son and his partner are not just dreaming, they plan to be there by December. Has anyone been to Izmir? Or Antalya?

[ 17 August 2003: Message edited by: Wilfred Day ]


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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