Flashback to a New York City trip a couple years ago. I was passing through U.S. immigration at Pearson, and getting a look from the border guard that could only be described as “askance.” (If you’ve ever gotten that look from an INS official, you’ll know what I mean.) My paperwork came back to me in a big red clipboard, which, I soon discovered, is Not Good.
I was ushered off to a small, secure anteroom off the immigration hallway, with rows of seating that might accommodate 50-odd, but were on this day pressed into service seating one. A strapping young uniformed lad sat at a computer, maintaining an impressively indifferent attitude to his only, um, customer. He left me to squirm for about 15 minutes before calling me up.
“Take off the sunglasses,” he demanded. I did. A camera flashed.