Getting there

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Getting to Drummond is a trip and a half. We fly into Sault Saint Marie Ontario and then need to be picked up by someone to make it to the island some 100 miles away. Somehow, there’s always something to report. This time it was crossing the border from Canada in that beat up old Toyota. Actually, it’s more than beat up, it was shot up by hunters who saw it standing outdoors in the dead of winter and decided to use it for target practice. They shot out all four tires, the back window and the tail lamps. My brothers replaced the windshield and the tires, but you can still see the bullet holes in the hood. Nothing that a little masking tape won’t fix. There are bullet holes in the seats, too.

At the border they’re always confused by why on earth an American would want to live over in Germany. “So, what do you do over there?” “Oh, you know, live.” But this time two border protection officers took one look at the car and decided to make the four of us get out, with much “sir”ing and “ma’am”ing, as in “I’m going to have to ask you all to go inside the building. You can take that bag, ma’am, but you’ll have to take out any mobile devices.” Right, officer. Afterwards, when the tension eased and Adam and Renate were making small talk with the officers, they told us they were actually looking for bloodstains.

Helmut’s ESTA authorization to travel under the Visa Waiver Program didn’t count. “Oh, that’s more an airport sort of thing.” They took inkless 10 fingerprints (fascinating) and a mug shot and Helmut had to write his name and birthdate and address by hand in four different places, maybe just to make sure he wasn’t lying about his identity, and we dropped our 6 dollars, I think it was, and then we were out of there. Home free. Almost. Because it was getting dark, but Adam didn’t want turn on the carlights quite yet to avoid the officers calling us back. After all,  one tail light is still not working.


2 Responses

  1. what’s happening in America, they seem to be making it harder and harder for people to get in?
    Mind you the description of the car suggests they were right to be careful.
    Germany always struck me as a place where you had to drive a car that looked smart so it must be weird the change.

  2. Well, you know, it was that dratted shoe bomber who started the craziness at the airports, and then since 9-11 everything’s been a real mess, hasn’t it?
    As for the paperwork, the US is not really great at administration, just think of those horrible tax forms. But these forms are new, so you’d think… The online forms are straightforward and relatively well designed, but these paper forms are ridiculously redundant.

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