I’ve long had a fascination with borders (No, not the bookstore…Well, actually I did have a fascination with them,but now they are closed).   No, the borders I am referring to are the kind that divide countries.  Rachel thinks my fascination with them is a little strange and maybe it is.  But I was relieved to read an article in the New York Times last week that made me realize I am not the only one.   I remember traveling with my grandparents once and staying in the village of Calais, Maine on the border with New Brunswick.  At the time there was just a small checkpoint and a stone-wall separating Calais from its Canadian counterpart, St. Stephen.  I was 14-years-old and thought it would be fun to explore on foot one evening, until I accidentally walked over the partly unmarked border and found myself surrounded by Mounties questioning me on where I was going and why.

I didn’t cross the border into Canada again for probably another 20 years when I drove across at Windsor, Ontario.  It’s always struck me as quaint that all they have is a tiny sign marking the border, yet I’m not sure what I expect, a continuous 3-piece orchestra announcing the location?  I’m always nervous for some reason whenever I cross into Canada (maybe it was the experience with the Mounties), so much so that I sometimes bobble the most basic questions.

“What’s your name, sir?”

“Um..k..um..kevin..”

“hmmmm, why don’t you pull over there and go into immigration for some more questions.”

SIGH.  I’ve been to Canada 7 or 8 times over the past 5 years and on probably half the occasions I stutter or stumble over some simple question and find myself dragged into customs. For awhile I knew the immigration staff by the name (just kidding).  When Rachel and I were visiting an Amish settlement near Rexford, Montana last year it turns out the cabin we were staying in was only 4 miles from the British Columbia border crossing of Roosville.  Was I crazy for just wanting to drive those miles to look at it?  Maybe…so we didn’t, but I am kicking myself for not now.

I long to travel someday south of the border to Mexico.  Below is a State Department file  photo of the border at Tijuana, with the US on the left and Mexico on the right.  What a dramatic difference! I just think it would be so neat.   But I’ll try not to fumble my name if I ever cross there.   Have any of our readers crossed over into Mexico?  What was the experience like?   I’ll post tomorrow about why borders came to mind today!

Advertisements