Border patrol agents are no joke. Roll the window down and the car up to their little booth. And there she is—Heated. The last two times I’ve rolled into Canada I’ve dealt with really attractive border agents. She looks at me,
Me, no words just hand her my passport.
“Of what country are you a citizen?”
“USA! USA! USA! USA!”
She wasn’t impressed and fired off a bunch of other questions. But she was nowhere near as grilling as the French-Canadian sassy-lass Flawsy Files and I dealt with.
And just like that, I was in a foreign country. No longer was the Christian god that speaks to politicians watching over me. These people could smell the freedom on me.
I landed at the Domincan’s place. I’m pretty happy to report that the Dominican doesn’t live in an igloo. Mosty because he is a USA-er and therefore they treat him like a king. He has a great little joint in Kensington Market. And that hood is serious. Mega graffiti, crust punks, produce stands, a two-block walk to Chinatown, and the oppressive feeling that comes from not have cops slow down and look at you. It immediately made me uncomfortable. I should note I went the entire weekend followed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I could feel the freedom slipping away.
Friday we hustled about on Queen and Richmond. Stopping in and out of shops. Looking at all of their third world clothes and making jokes about their money. DOLLAR COINS! That is absurd! And the prices…HA! I paid like $4(can) for a canadicano, but I had to because their money is not American.
You know how when you go Mexico and a beer is like 6 million pesos, or you can trade a Nissan for a guy’s daughter? At first there is sticker shock, but then it’s cool because that 6 million pesos is only like $5.50 and that Nissan was 2008 rental with insurance anyway. That’s how Canadian money works as well.
At this point I also ate a nutella and banana crepe.
I did see a lot of people wearing nice vests. I suspect these are the igloo dwellers. Some wore Penfield branded ones because clearly they wanted to be Americans. At one point, late on friday night, a woman in a beaver pelt vest was trying to give me Canadian money, but I just laughed at her. Her money was of no use to me, an American. Others were wearing Canada Goose branded ones, I can only assume these are lesser coats because they are made in Canada. This was probably some nationalistic, anti-USA-er shit going on, but I handled it well as I am pro-vest.
We went to The Stussy Toronto shop which was rad, as well as the Undefeated shop next to it. Then we went to Livestock and some sneaker shop next to that. It was rad to see those places packed. Especially because it wasn’t even Black Friday up there, they just called it “Friday.”
Then we rolled over to the CN tower, which is like the Canadian Space Needle, I snapped out my credit card to pay for the tickets and the counter girl was all “Ahh, American?” She could tell because my credit card wasn’t “chipped.” I assume that is how they track Canadians—chipped credit cards.
I suspect counter girl alerted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of my presence, because when we left I had my first run in with the “Mounties”
But both sides played it cool.
Saturday we tooled about in the financial district for a minute and went to a meat and seafood market, where I had another nutella and banana crepe. Of course the Mounties were back. But no worries, I hid from them this time.
Later this day I stumbled up a place called Canadian Tire, which had a serious lack of tires and Canadian Tire Toques. I’m pretty sure they could have just called it Tire though, as I have never seen that place in America. I also saw a place called the Hudson Bay Company. I can only assume hunting and trapping is still huge business there as that store took up an entire city block. I wonder what the going rate is on a beaver pelt these days?
Suddenly, it was dark, because of the metric day being shorter and all. But the Mounties were still out. By this time I’d had enough, and I was seriously smashed the fuck up on some Canadian Club 1.2 Dekayear Whiskey.
The next thing I know it was Day D, I had a Canadian cold (should have gotten shots) and was driving home pumping quota rock, all the way back to the border, and freedom.