Crossing the great Niagara Gorge aboard the Amtrak Train from the U.S. to Canada
This past week I took my family aboard am Amtrak train to Manhattan, in New York City. Among all the great and wonderful things we did was the must do on any visitors list: Visit Ground Zero to the 911 Memorial. (More on that in another blog post to come). Having experienced 911 Memorial emotions and security one cannot but appreciate the need for international border security. Americans and Canadians have much to protect and so strong measures need to be in place. No question about it.
This leads me to what I call silliness compounded.
Let me explain;
When my family and I were crossing from Canada into the United States our train stopped just inside the American Border. There the U.S. Marshals boarded the train and carried out their duties. One by one questioning each and every passenger on the train. There was a dog available to them but they did not bring it on the train. Of the many passengers they only removed four or five for further and closer examination inside the Customs office, which was at train level and within access of the train door. Cool! Not for one second did you even think anything of the process as of course you fully respected the reasons.
Then there was the Re-entry into Canada a week later.
Amtrak train stops just inside the Canadian Border. Train shuts down. Canadian Customs officers board the train and ask all passengers to de-board the train with all personal belongings. Ok, I get it. We will be passing our bags through scanners and we will be scanned ourselves. Cool. Totally fine. Very inconvenient but fine never the less.
So there we go, belongings in hand, every passenger, young and old, strong and feeble, making their way off the train. Then the officials direct us all into the customs processing office where they send us through a typical customs kiosk where we are asked the usual questions. No luggages canners, no body scanners, not even those scanner wands as seen in air ports. all passengers are passed through and directed outside the building and in stead of being led onto the platform, we are all sent around the outside of the train station, along the street sidewalk and back into the normal passenger waiting lounge. No air conditioning, no water to drink and can I tell you reader, it was pretty blazing hot in that little lounge with over a hundred impatient passengers standing, sitting around. 45 mn passed. Then very matter of fact like, a train station officer opens the platform door and announces "Ready to board!". We board, luggage in hand and flustered every one of us. The train pulls away and off we go.
Far be it from this artist to express any political views on this blog and I'll leave the conclusions up to you my faithful readers, but suffice to say there were some seriously silly aspects to this process and it left a very sour taste in the mouths of most of us passengers. Sort of like being processed for incarceration, or something like that.
Love to have your feed back on this one. Love to read your nightmare stories.
The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.