In honour of this Canada Day weekend, thought I’d repost these border-crossing tales of David Archuleta tours-gone-by… if you have your own stories, please share!!!
Fasten your seatbelts as a few SnowAngelz tell their harrowing tales of cross-border life in the David Lane.
Never in my previous non-ODD life, have I ever “crossed over” the divide between our lovely countries as often as I have in the past year. Canada and the U.S. may share the longest unguarded border in the world, but I, on the other hand, feel very guarded with every venture.
Will the questions asked reveal the real reason for my trip? Will they proceed from “Where are you headed?” to “Whose concert??” at breakneck speed? Will the border guard notice the hesitancy in my voice as I wait for the inevitable “That little guy from A.I.?” or “David who??”
My biggest fear is that I may answer, “I am going to see The David, The Only David, The Best David,” and may even be tempted to add “My David!!!”
On my way to see David Archuleta’s summer tour stop in Hershey, P.A., the customs person was the most encouraging I have met so far. He not only knew who David was, but proceeded to “grill” me about what Cook was up to lately and even asked “What about that girl who could really belt it out?”
Then he started chatting about pre-A.I. 7 seasons. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that my Idol knowledge was limited to Season 7. I mumbled some inanities about Simon Cowell (feeling like I was locked into a game of A.I. Trivial Pursuit) and looked for TOfan, who I was sure must have been wondering why I was getting the “interrogation.” As I finally got away, I had to smile…. only in America.
I could never be a drug mule. Not because I’m above all that crime business, but because of the panicked look that takes over my face every time I cross the border. I’m convinced I’ll somehow “fit the profile,” be strip-searched and held for further questioning… or worse, sent home.
So for me, of all the “firsts” I’ve experienced as a David fan, voluntarily subjecting myself to border-guard scrutiny in order to get to a concert has to be the most nerve-wracking.
Yes, I could just vaguely tell them I’m visiting friends, but experience has taught me honesty is the best policy when faced with the horror of federal offenses or, gasp, missing David’s show. But you try travelling with fellow ODDers and answering the inevitable, “How do you all know each other?”
I’ve found that a quick “we’re friends going to a concert” works best. It is (a) the truth and (b) avoids having to explain hooking up with strangers online (it was hard enough to type that, never mind say it out loud to an armed official).
Once when I said I was travelling to meet friends (mumbling “for a concert” under my breath), the border guard wanted to know how I knew these “friends” … I think I said “we’re all in sort of a music club” and she took pity on me and left it at that.
In the scenario Refnaf described above, I had no idea her “interrogator” was an Idol buff. He had her chatting so long I figured he didn’t believe we were flying Stateside just for a concert and we’d miss our flight … or worse. Beads of perspiration collected on my brow as he called me forward for my turn in the hot seat.
“So,” he said, leaning back in his chair, one eyebrow raised. “David Archuleta, huh?”
“Yes,” I gulped. “He’s good!”
“Ya, I know,” he nodded, handing back my passport. “Have a safe trip.”
“Where are you two ladies travelling to?”
“Cleveland, although we are meeting up with a friend in Buffalo”
“What are you doing in Cleveland?”
“We are going to a concert.”
“DAVID ARCHULETA! Have you heard of him?” (The intent was to turn the tables and go on the offensive….)
“He was on American Idol!”
“You are travelling all the way from Toronto to Cleveland for a concert with David Archuleta?”
As if rehearsed and without hesitation….”Of course…he is amazing! Have you listened to his Christmas album?”
I realize we have no more copies because IT WAS SOLD OUT IN TORONTO!
“Oh no! We would give you a copy if we had an extra. We gave copies of his first CD to a border guard last year whose daughter….” I realize I am talking way too much now.
“Okay ladies…here you go.” Passed back passports and as if in a hurry to get rid of us.
On our last trip to New York, the security officer said at the Halifax airport, “I see by your passport that you were in the U.S. just last month? I believe that I remember you! So whose concert was that?”
I followed his line of questioning with the usual hesitation for some unknown reason. I answered with, “David, the same singer as before.” Maybe I was a little sassy, but I wore a big smile.
On coming home, ‘the almost’ interrogation in Halifax airport included, “So why were you there?” I answered his barrage of questions with, “A concert.”
“Do you have a ticket stub to prove it, he asked?” My reply to his question was automatic, “I have that and a David Archuleta poster, Christmas tree ball and various other gifts right here in my hand.”
He said, “Next person please!”…
Although I’ve had the good fortune to travel a great deal in my life, I’d never been apprehensive at any border crossing. That is, until I contracted ODD.
Suddenly I was a regular at airports, ferry crossings, bus stations and immigration checkpoints — destination: David, anywhere USA.
I could feel the sweat trickle down my back when an immigration official asked me to produce my Jingle Ball ticket before entering Buffalo on a Greyhound bus. I felt equally uncomfortable when asked to explain why I had been to New Jersey when I had not gone on business and had neither friends nor family there.
Ummm, well, you see … I went to a music concert, sir. Are you a singer, he asked? blah! Ummmm…no, I went to hear someone else. Oh, man… here it comes. Who, he asked? David Archuleta (sotto voce). Did you purchase any tobacco? Whew! Off the hook again.
I’m sure that one day the customs card will offer three options for the question, “What is the main purpose of your visit?”: 1. Personal. 2. Business. 3. ODD. Who am I kidding? I love the secret, exhilarating life of a well-travelled SnowAngel.
Happy Birthday, Canada! To help you celebrate, here’s a collection of memorable “O Canada” renditions. Enjoy!
P.P.S. Be sure to check out @abanana77’s amazing Canada series on her equally amazing blog HERE.