Thursday, August 19, 2010

Canadian* Adventures

In my last post, I mentioned that I was going to Nova Scotia (which translates to "New Scotia." I think a scotia is a type of rash, but I could be wrong). I should clarify what I meant: I meant that I was trying to go to Nova Scotia. In my case, the difference between those two statements is similar to the difference between my saying "I have a lot of friends" and "when I have good dreams, I have a lot of friends" -- a substantial one.

I won't bore you with any foreshadowing because there was none. Emily (my roadtripping partner) and I were driving happily for two days. Everything was fine up to the border. The drive went well, Maine was pretty, and spirits were high. We waited for a few minutes at the border before pulling up to the gate. This was how I thought the conversation between me and the border guard would go:

Guard: Hi, eh?
Me: Hi. We'd like to enter your beautiful country, which is disrespected without reason by most Americans. Can we come in?
Guard: Hmmm... That depends, eh? Are you planning on smuggling guns, drugs, children or maple syrup in or out of the country, eh?
Me: No! We're planning on importing goodwill and friendship into your country, and exporting a great reputation for Canada through my huge blog readership!
Guard: Awesome, eh? Go on in, and here, have a shot of maple syrup that I keep handy in my flask!

That wasn't what actually happened. This is more along the lines of what actually happened.

Guard: Hi, eh?
Me: Hi...
Guard: Are you planning on smuggling guns, drugs, children or maple syrup in or out of the country, eh?
Me: Er, no.
Guard: Have either of you two ever been before a judge, eh?
Me: (thinking to myself) Aw, he's noticed how bashful I get before authority figures, and is trying to comfort me!
Me: Gosh, she hasn't, but I actually have! Funny story.
Guard: I don't really want to hear it. Go into the office now. If you just drop your pants now and bend over, it might save time later, eh?

This was when a pretty Canadian border guard grilled me (this is not as fun as it sounds, and no maple syrup marinade was involved, if that's what you were wondering), and then told me that I had reckless endangerment on my record (NB: If you googled me to find out if I have a record or anything, I really don't. This is an error, I swear). At this point, I was hoping against hope that she would say something like,"A wild one! You'll fit right into our untamed country. And what's more, you didn't even hurt anyone! That's like cautious endangerment. I have so much respect for you. Here's my number, call me when you guys are partying, I think it would be fun to join you, eh?"

That didn't happen, though. After she ignored me for two hours (I'm used to this - girls normally ignore me when I'm asking them out, so this didn't seem unusual), she smiled nicely, and told me that I had to sign a paper saying I didn't want to come into Canadia, anyway, and I wouldn't try to come back for ten years. The best way to think of this is that Canadia pre-emptively issued a restraining order against me. This is something that I actually have never had happen to me with a girl despite some of my best attempts, so I didn't know how to react. I wanted to find an adult, preferably a policeman, and ask for advice in between sobs. Emily's wiser counsel prevailed, fortunately, so we just went to a bookstore, got a guidebook for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, went to the public library to e-mail the people we were supposed to visit, and then started driving around.

So I never went to Canada on my road trip. Instead, we stayed in the northeast and had an awesome time. We also saw a moose, which was roughly the size of the largest town we saw in Maine.

Maine: Very large. Very, very large.
New Hampshire: Not as large as Maine, not as happy as Vermont. We barely spent any time there.
Vermont: People are strangely happy in Vermont. I suspect the water is drugged with happy pills by the corporation that runs Ben and Jerry's. It's also beautiful.

Anyway, I'm still a bit disorganized, and I need to find a giant to step on my back to straighten it out after sitting in the traffic we hit in New Jersey. Stay tuned, I'll put some photos of the trip up eventually, and discuss a few more things that I noticed while staring blankly out the passenger seat window for hours (this is more dangerous than it sounds. I was driving).

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