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Both sides of a border crossing

October 26, 2008

Regarding Charles Vorsanger's trip to Canada ["U.S. Rolls up the Welcome Mat," Letters, Oct. 19]: We had an opposite experience.

We crossed into Canada on May 20 (by way of Interstate 81), a little early for the 400th birthday celebration in Quebec City.

We had an open box of wine and a bottle of unopened vodka we were supposed to have left before we crossed the border but forgot.

In Canada, we were told to park, and our fifth wheel and truck were gone over by five Canadian agents, complete with flak vests and black leather gloves. They never asked us to open our slider so I don't know how they rummaged through our stuff, but they sure did for over a half-hour. I do believe they were in training for the summer tourists going to Quebec, but I don't really know for sure.

We were then told to go into the office and after a bit were told that since we didn't declare our liquor, we had to pay a $46.50 fine and our names would be in the computer for five years if we were to try to cross the border again.

Well, honey, forget that. On our return to the U.S., the border guard was welcoming and told us of a comfortable camping place. He was so kind, I almost kissed him.

Mary Lou Robillard

Joshua Tree


Bravo to Vorsanger for exactly articulating my experiences with travel to Canada. After very pleasant encounters with virtually all Canadians, the rudeness of American officials upon returning is so apparent and so discouraging.

Ed Kaiser

Redondo Beach

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