for Aseem Chhabra and my fellow travelers
Something Aseem Chhabra said this weekend made me think of this.
Several months ago, I was detained at the Michigan-Canadian border because I had loose, unlabeled spices from Toronto, which the Lords of U.S. Customs did not recognize and needed to submit to agricultural inspection, a request I did not consider unreasonable until I saw how it was to be done. We were removed from our vehicle and did not have even visual contact with our property while they searched it.
(Who will inspect the inspection? They could take something! I said.
They could PLANT something, said someone else.)
As far I could tell, the only person of color in the office where we waited was Barack Obama. I found his picture on the wall comforting.
Our vehicle when we returned to it looked ransacked, but to the best of our knowledge, they took (and planted) nothing. Still, I have learned to prefer the airport. Or the New York border, where my loose Sri Lankan spices flummox no one.
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