I'm home ... Am I welcomed?? Viva Custom & Immigration Canada

Quebec City Travel Blog

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Home, home, home... how will it be?

I have been most of the time abroad those last years that I probably won't feel home, nor either feel in close contact with my family (but that has always been normal).
It will probably be some eclectic days, as the journey will be short. I will try to sort out a hell of a lot of administrative stuff regarding my ID and Canadian paper as well as my health (well somehow I only trust my healthcare system... eventhough not the best, but free!, I know how it works).

I probably won't be writting anything interesting here, nor 'travel' around in my native region (not that my daily working life routine in Poole was interesting to write-read either, but its more for myself!). It will be my brother's wedding, which I finally put the money on the table to no miss. Since I had previously missed nearly everything going on in his life, having been abroad. That will means that I will be seeing all my family and probably friends as well.

I will more obviously be closing this blog once back in Poole and only start a new one when I will hit the road again. So this represent in a way 'the official' ends of my last european migration.

I wonder how the weather will be? But I certainly go immediately to eat a POUTINE when I land!

August 21

Just at few minutes before midnight... we landed, my bags are there!
So I can enter the airport trying to hurry to not be stuck in a queue.
Of course, I had expected a crappy immigration process as they always give me a hard time.
This was no different, since they have to justify their job... I become an easy target, the strange little boy that lives abroad more often than within its own country! That is hell suspicious.

So the 2 questions that lead me to a bloody shitty question list and long inspection before I could enter MY HOME COUNTRY!
- How long have you been away... ''mm for more than a year and a half nearly''
- What!?? more than a year? Where have you been? ''answer''
- Where are you going now!?? and Why are you coming to Canada!??

Second tricky question that was answered on my shiny immigration clearance paper:
- How long are you planning to stay in Canada and what for? '' about 10 days ''
- 10 Days?? and you are canadian!

So that lead me to a shiny box where they didn't believe me and had to open all my bag, asked me 10 times where do I live (I had given my parents address in Canada... which shows on all my ID, including my driving license etc...).
They asked me for all my ID, I showed my driving license... they asked me for another ID, I gave them my Health Government Card... then again, I said -Wait, there is no other Official ID existing in Canada besides those two!

So then, I had to answer why I was away. I told them I was living and working in England at the moment and needed to be back for my job.
- Ohh you are in England... you are not Canadian then? (WTF!!!)
- In what do you work? On a ship... (and to avoid complication with more paper I didn't say I'm a seaman... as I would need to show my certification which I didn't bring... so I say Steward).

They asked me for my job contract instead! I said I had none (their answer being, are you working in the black;  - me to simply tell, no I don't amuse myself carrying a job contract when I go to my home country where my passport is enough!).

More tricky questions involved, What is my incomes? Do I bring more than 10000$ within the country.
Ohhh and also while they were looking in my bags (which was just packed with loads of pamphlet and books regarding City Planning (my profession) from diverse cities and government in Europe for professionnal future references, and which they couldn't really understand).

Still they found a particular paper, The Be Welcome / Be Volunteer contract (www.bewelcome.org) that had been discussed and voted during the conference meeting in Brussels in May.
It was written in English (which a non educated quebecker custom officer barely can understand! Sorry, but most of my nation is that illeterate)... and about a topic that is far from the concern of someone that doesn't like his job and simply gets the money to sit on his backlawn having a beer and enjoy the breeze in his red neck life. How could I explain!?
Well with a exhausted sarcastic look, I said, its the leaflet about a conference I assisted regarding the development of NGO in the domain of hospitality. After I explained him what NGO meant, the answer satisfied him.

They looked every pocket 5 times... not doing much constructive to finally told me. Next time do not tell you live in Canada when you pass the border. You may have a canadian passport but you are not a canadian resident anymore!
Hooray I'm officially stateless, and that comes from the mouth of a government represent!

I would so be happy if it would be that easy and indeed I could not be a shitty canadian resident anymore.

So if you read my tiny experience (which has been the similar several time I crossed the border back home) you might sense a slight feeling why I do not wish to be home anymore.

Basically, I justified some response from the immigration officer as such:
1- They do not like people who enjoy themself
2- They can't afford being abroad and can't understand
3- They are usually proud to be canadian and can't understand that any of their citizen actually want to go abroad (this is a mentality that is well spread in our culture and was justified by our dumb prime minister Chretien when he used those word and saying as ''we are the bestest best country in the World... So!'')
4- Their level of education and international awareness isn't ... errmmm 'the bestest'

I do not think that we are a country with a bright future with such leadership...
But gosh we are still a great country which will always bring me nostalgia... twinned with hate about such behaviour (too well spread).

I was free to go anyway (otherwise what... Eh!?) No welcome back, just a general warning.

My father was waiting for me, with my brother and my uncle. It was great to see them, especially Tommy my brother... whom was on his last bachelor days :D!! hehe
Of course I was exhausted by the journey and pissed by the arrival, so in a way, I wasn't entirely happy to be home.

The belgian guy and the woman had already left has I was being interogated. They said hi to my family and told them they would catch a taxi. That's sad :(

So we drove home and arrived in my quiet shiny village... quiet quiet but wonderful. That I was glad to see, and being back inside the house too. I hugged my mother and we talked a little before we all went to bed.

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photo by: peppertm