I've been thinking about this one for awhile actually. Maybe a few months. When I fly to Canada from the US, I pass through Canadian customs and immigration in Canada. When I fly home I pass through US customs and immigration in...Canada. It's like the US just went ahead and annexed a part of a sovereign nation, but then turned around and let them put a few Tim Horton's Doughnut shops and hockey memorabilia stores back on the airport concourse.
A few weeks ago, I asked a US immigration agent in Vancouver what the deal was...
AGENT: Good afternoon, sir. Passport please.
ME: Sure man....So what's the situation here, do you live in Washington or something?
AGENT: No I don't. How long have you been in Canada?
ME: Got here yesterday. Quick business trip. Nothing to declare.....How's it work then, this whole you being here even though we are in Canada thing?
AGENT: We can volunteer for a six month assignment.
ME: Oh that's cool. Too bad we can't hook it up so you guys could volunteer for somewhere else like Madrid or whatever. You'd have a good time there. Madrid Barajas is a pretty great airport as well. There's a rad Puma store in the Iberia terminal. Plus you've got plenty of "bellas mujeres" in that town, know what I'm saying?
AGENT: (Handing passport back to me) Have a nice flight, sir. Welcome home.
You see? He welcomed me home to what I still consider Canada. This is all just a little weird to me.
An attorney I met in Vancouver figures it's probably a treaty of some sort. But what did Canada get in return? Too bad Canadians can't be welcomed home at a checkpoint in LAX and still have one final chance for a burrito at Del Taco. Quid Pro Quo.
Till next time.