Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
374Trip End Mar 15, 2007
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I was headed to my last country (sniff) on my journey today, Canada. Hoofing over to the Greyhound station I got a ticket to Vancouver somehow getting into a conversation with the girl behind the counter saying how she would love to travel the world but not on her own. She said she would need someone to share it with and although I can understand her feelings, knowing a few times along the way when it would have been good to have had someone to reminisce about it down the pub when it's all over, but I would still not change from solo travel
Anyway, onwards to Canada arriving at the border customs thinking this should be relatively smooth being a fellow (partly) English speaking member of the commonwealth and known for their friendliness. Oh dear.
Not waiting long in line with those ahead of me passing through quick I walked up to the customs guy and handed over my passport not expecting the barrage of questions to follow and to still be standing here 20 minutes later. "Where are you going today? For what purpose? How long do you plan to be in Canada? What are your travel plans? Do you have friends here? Do you have a return plane ticket? What is your occupation? How much money do you have access to?"
Up to this point things seemed pretty normal, if thorough, until while flicking through my passport he found the Cambodian visas.
Customs: "What where you doing in Cambodia?"
At this point memories of late nights in Phnom Penh, Angkor temple exploring and endless beach lounging in Sihanoukville sprung to mind all while trying to hide a smile breaking out across my face.
Customs: "What do you mean by traveling?"
Me: "Huh, what do you mean by traveling?"
Customs: "What where you doing in all these countries?"
Me: "Traveling, you know going from place to place and seeing what's in between."
I knew he was only doing is job and held my passport and that you really shouldn't mess around with someone who has the power to really give you a bad day but I just couldn't understand the problem
Finally getting the stamp and thanking him while looking for the sniper probably aiming at me on exiting I re-boarded the bus and headed northwards at last to Vancouver.
Driving into the city at night I had just one last hurdle to overcome in trying to find the hostel with a map about as helpful as a Cambodian visa at the Canadian border. Stumbling upon it at last I almost wished I hadn't, it was a shit hole. Total dive would maybe be too good a description for it but for one night and only $10 it would do. The owner went on about not wanting fussy people here with him coming across all pretentious about traveling throughout Asia as I felt like saying, yeah I've been there too but even that sweat box prison cell of a room in Bangkok was still cleaner than this and cheaper.
Certain days traveling solo are better than others.