To: BM Vancouver
From: misS eLLaNeOuS <MisS_eLLaNeOuS@canada.com>
Subject: [Burning Man Vancouver] My best advice re: border crossings...
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 14:08:20 -0700
I have gone across that border many many many times... Under various SCARY conditions...
Here's my advice...
and extra tidbits I add on just for the hell of it.
- Think of it
from their perspective... They wanna make sure you ain't moving there to work
illegally, that's about it.
- Be calm, you
are NOT doing anything wrong, other than wanting to be in the States... heeheee...
- A zillion people
go vacationing all year round, you are one of them.
- The owner of
the vehicle should be the one driving - just easier for explanation.
- The driver
will be asked some questions, and only the driver should answer them, ie:
other passengers should not answer on behalf of the driver.
- Only respond
when you are specifically asked a question.
- NEVER EVER
LIE but ONLY ANSWER exactly what you are asked. Don't fill in extra details.
- You need a
REASON to wanna be in the States. Destination: pick one, but I would say I
am going camping thru Oregon, Nevada, California.
- You need a
TIME FRAME - eg: 2 weeks sounds good for all that shit you've got.
- They might
ask what you do for a living. It helps if you have a JOB in Canada, bring
a business card, payslip, something like that. Oh, looky-this, I happen to
have this recent phone / hydro bill here in my name ... yep.. looks like I'm
a good permanent member of Canadian society....
- Might ask what
each person's relation to the other is. eg: friends, girl/boy friend, neighbour,
etc. "Just hitching a ride", "dunno these people at all"
- uh, wrong answers.
RULE #1 -
KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid
are you going?" My initial sentence will usually something like, "we're
travelling around California & Nevada, camping for about 2 weeks."
But don't PREP your answers. Just tell 'em like it is, and ONLY SPECIFICALLY
what they asked you.
- Don't add on
that you're gonna be meeting some friends unless they ask you! It's not bad
to do it, it just keeps THEIR questions to a minimum... they could then ask,
how do you know these friends, and then you'd have to pause and think about
an answer, (trust me, it's hard to think fast) and then say... I met them
last year on a trip... "well, where exactly did you meet them, where
are you meeting them, how often do you come to the States?..". etc etc
etc.. They will simply ask you more questions, making you feel more nervous
- FOR NO REASON MIND YOU - we just hate them all, they make me cringe.
- BRING your
INFO ON BM WITH YOU. (I suggest the SURVIVAL GUIDE is a hell of a good one!
Explains why you got all this shade structure / construction stuff) There
is NOTHING wrong with going to a frickin' festival in the desert!
- If they decide
to search you - SO WHAT! - late for a playa meeting? Better than not at all!
Happened to Kat & Edie - then they see you've got all this crazy stuff,
and there IS a reason for it all, it's not just 'coz you're crazy! DO NOT
HIDE ANYTHING! Then you look really suspicious and stupid if you have to confess
that you were worried they might think you were a freak and not let you in
to their FABULOUS country.
- "Why all
this crazy stuff back here??" "We're making a stop in Nevada to
check out this festival called Burning Man." If they ask what it is,
then you can show them legitimate documentation, especially with all that
policing info in it.
- If you do get
into discussing BM, try not to play up the "performer" angle. They
may accuse you of going to BM to "work" and that's illegal without
a work permit.
- Reminder: DO
NOT TAKE ANY ILLEGAL SHIT WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Bonus idea...
I usually make a few fake appointments in my agenda/Palm Pilot timed for when
I get back to Canada. I like that one! Like a Dentist or Doctor appointment,
lunch with mom or dad, any friends' b-day parties, make it look like you have
a life in Canada and really DO want to return there! COZ IT'S TRUE!~~~~ Don't
go overboard on this!! One or 2 is good enuf!
Out of brain power.