Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Border post

December 30th, 2011

Explained I’d a knife in my handlebar bag. Quickly adding I was reluctant to get it out lest my actions be misunderstood. Guns made me nervous I said. Smiling. I’d been obliged to pull over at a major Border Patrol checkpoint on the eastbound Interstate. Claiming my passport was buried in the panniers. It wasn’t. But it was firmly taped up in plastic. Efforts to avoid unwrapping it by proffering my Driving Licence fruitless. Instead invited to stop outside the elongated office building.

I was beginning to regret not taking the parallel frontage road that my map indicated to be the westbound route. Circumventing the checkpoint. Wondering about the legality of the insistence on inspecting my passport. Not aware of any actual requirement to carry it on me within the US. Especially as I doubted I’d ever be mistaken for an illegal Mexican immigrant.

Whatever your mode of transport – large truck, car or even a bicycle – a four man cadre would be summoned from the office. Friendly enough. I chatted quite a bit, but as always befalls these situations, low on information content. We settled on one of their number carefully cutting through my passport’s plastic wrapper with his own knife. Cursory inspection of my visa. New or just inexperienced I wasn’t sure, for they never checked the photo page to confirm the documents was actually mine.

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