I had my Nexus interview this morning. I got up two hours before I had to be there (after a solid 1.5 hours sleep), and did all the crap needed to make me pretty. So pretty. I’ve got a basic idea where it is after questioning a border guard yesterday when I dropped off my buddy at the Bellingham airport. The sign on the highway said that there was a 10 minute wait at the border. Perfect. That’ll leave me plenty of time to get through and actually locate the right building. That’s when it stopped being awesome.
By the time I’m actually approaching the border, the wait time has jumped to 40 minutes. This would make me late. To try to speed up the locating process, I decided to punch the address into the gps on my phone to see if I can get a ballpark figure of where it is. This is what I got:
The location shown there (I took this screen capture well after the event), is a farmer’s field just outside of Cloverdale, about 10kms from the border. This didn’t look right to me, but what did I know? I’ll tell you what I knew: I had 10 minutes to get to my interview and it said that the location was 12 minutes from where I was sitting in line to get across the border. Behind me. I take a u-turn, exceed the speed limit and get to the location shown on the map just as the clock turned 8am. Yup. Definitely a field in the middle of nowhere. I’m now 15 minutes from the border, already late, and expecting a 40-50 minute wait to get across to where I’m expecting the building actually is. I exceed the speed limit once again, making it back to the border in about 10 minutes. I bypass a lot of the waiting cars and go up to a traffic guy. He points out the right building, but tells me that I’d have to cross the border first to get to it. I explain to him that I’m already way, way late, and he suggests I park in the Duty Free parking lot and just walk over to the building. Done and done.
I get into one of the border buildings, stand in line, check in and find that I’m in the wrong building. –Sigh- I get directions to the right building. Following them to the letter, I end up in the bus passenger customs building. Wrong. I exit there and see the Nexus building across a parking lot. I’m halfway there and a border guard yells at me to stop (from back at the bus building). I walk back, explain what’s up and he directs me to the building I was finally heading to. To make a long story just a little bit longer, I got checked in there at 8:40. I was fully expecting to have to reschedule my interview. This was not going to be a good thing because it took me 5 months to get the one I just missed. As it turned out, I just had to wait around until they finished up with the people that showed up on time for their interviews.
I had several of the guards comment on the difference between me in person and the me pictured on my passport. The one that called me over for my interview had to double check to make sure the right guy was following her back to her area. Heh. That actually broke the ice with the two border guards I had to talk to (one from the US and one from Canada). We chatted about my weight loss about as much as the rules and regulations.
After all was said and done, I had to walk over to Canadian Customs waaaaaay on the other side of things, across about 12 lanes of idling cars, just to check back in to the country. I was a bit worried that I was going to have to drive my car across the border (the Duty Free is on the American side after all), through both the American and the Canadian border check points. Didn’t though. The guy I had talked to earlier in the parking lot of the Duty Free, just told me to drive to the other side of the parking lot and he’d have the other guy open the gate and let me out. Woot! Saved me about an hour and a half, easy.
I should get my Nexus card in the mail in about 10 days. Fun.