Apr 12, 2010, 10:18 PM
Post #24 of 34
I have been driving to Mexico from Canada for 17 years and have never had anything but courtious and friendly encounters with U.S. Mexican and Canadian border oficials. We have occasionaly been directed to the secondary inspection but again, they have always been professional and a quick scrutinizing of the trailer fridge and we are on our way. Most intense search ever was at Canadian customs just south of Vancouver. That took 40 minutes and everything was put back in place.
We have even crossed with a Mexican friend once and he also was treated respectfully.
Most recently, a couple of weeks ago, we crossed into the U.S. at Nogales, (Mariposa) and the screening agent asked if we were both U.S. citizens. With a Manitoba plate, which I am sure had been scanned, I thought this was strange and replied "No, we are both Canadians" "Oh" he replied, "I thought that was a Montana plate". (Aha, a little trick question.)
Next was the usual question about any fruits or vegetables. My wife replied that we had a bag of limes, (allowed), and a kiwi. "I'm sorry" he said, "but I have to take your kiwi". When my wife said that she didn't know exactly where it was, he directed us to the secondary inspection area and followed us there. As we parked, my wife anounced that she had found it and handed it to the agent. "Well, you're here now so we'll just have a look through your van." A few minutes later, one of the agents brought a white plastic bag out of one of our grocery boxes and placed it on the table. I am sure that the other people around us were sure they were witnessing a cocaine siezure - but what it was was a package of manteca, Lard. An animal product and therefore prohibited. Now they were satisfied, they had done their job and we were waved on our way.
My wife lamented to them that now she would be in their computers as a lard smuggler for the rest of her life. Both agents doubled up laughing and said that her record would remain clear, "Lard smuggling" was not an offence that they kept records on. So off we went on our way.
If one is not trying to sneak in any contraband, you have a different air, and after checking thousands of people every day, I am sure these agent develop a sixth sense. We always answer questions truthfully, keep our hands in sight and look the officer straight in the eye. Maybe we just have inocent faces but it has always worked. They have occasionaly found an orange or potatoe that we had forgotten about but in all these years, we have never had an unpleasant experience at a border crossing.