posted on May, 7 2010 @ 11:35 AM
Obviously this guy, like most of you, is very inexperienced at border crossings. They have always acted like this, it is nothing new. As a yacht
delivery captain for many years, I have made literally HUNDREDS of border crossings, in over thirty different countries. Usually at airports one way
and on board a vessel on the other, so I know how both sides of this work. Dealing with Customs and Immigration at airports, and by sea you can add
in the Coast Guard, DEA, Customs in cigarette boats, and sometimes local cops too. Now it all falls under Fatherland, er, Homeland Security. I
haven't done many crossings by car, just the Mexican border a few times, that's even easier.
Having lots of training and experience also in sales and marketing, I have learned how to manipulate people's minds with words to get them to do what
I want (give me their money), so I have also learned how to, and enjoy tremendously screwing with the dumb border guards' minds. Bear in mind these
people are not exactly mental giants, or they would not have this idiotic job. They are trained to try to trip you up with words, to see if you act
suspiciously. The fun thing is to use their own game against them, and try not to laugh as they become bamboozled. I could tell you a million
You must always be polite and not get irritated. It is difficult, but this is key. Running through the crazy bureaucratic red tape in the banana
republics in Central and South America used to be more hassle than the American ones, and all in a foreign language! But now the US outdoes everyone
in logistical nightmares at the borders. Except the Mexican border, it's pretty much wide open.
I've cleared in by sea hundreds of times in Florida alone, usually coming from either the Bahamas or the Yucatan. These are by far the main
smuggling routes for dope in the whole country, so they are extra vigilant around there as they should be. Especially on boats, because that is how
most of the dope gets in. So of course they want to board and search you big time.
One of their own rules is that they don't have to stop you at sea, but you must let them board. So I would politely invite them aboard, saying, "We
are on a tight schedule here so we can't stop, but please board right here," smiling all the way, as I kept the boat moving along at a good clip.
This gets a little rough sometimes, trying to transfer between two moving vessels, especially if the seas are at all rough. I saw lots of goober
landlubbers from Nebraska who had joined the Coast Guard out of some mistaken sense of patriotism, puke their guts out by the time they made it
aboard. This would tend to cut short their "inspection". Wish I could have had videos of some of this, funny stuff.
Often I would be transporting boats, even across international borders, that were brand new, so, no registration, documentation, title, nor any name,
hailing port, or numbers on the hull. This automatically looks suspicious of course. A boat doesn't need to have a name, but at least a hailing
port painted on it somewhere. I've pulled it off many times with no trouble, just by playing games with them. I have talked them out of wanting to
arrest me, impound the boat, and take chainsaws to it to find the secret compartments. I've even talked my way all the way through the Panama Canal
with no registration, documentation or papers of any kind.
Airports, even better! One way e-tickets bought the day before, are always suspicious. Traveling alone, or with a crew of young men of fighting age,
is doubly suspicious. Once, clearing Immigration in Miami, from Argentina, I had been down there for eight months, doing a couple of international
boat deliveries. I had traded an Ipod for a set of fishing rods, which I was now technically smuggling in. I had to wait at the carousel for someone
to bring the rods out from somewhere, they were too long to put on the carousel. When I got to the agent, he looked at my passport, with eight months
out of the country, and said, "Hm, Argentina, huh? Been down there awhile. What you been doing down there?"
I looked him straight in the eye, holding the fishing rods, and said, "Fishin."
He tried to trip me up with clever, incisive questions. "What do you do up here?"
I quickly thought up a BS story. "You like fishing? I sell sportfishing boats. Our Cabo line are the best sportfishing boats money can by. Have
you ever seen one?...." in complete smarmy salesman mode. His tiny brain was quickly disgusted by me trying to sell him something he knows he can't
afford, and passed me through the line. I laughed to myself all the way out to the parking lot, where my buddy was waiting to pick me up, when I
realized I forgot my guitar near the carousel while I was waiting for the rods to come out. If I want my guitar I'm going to have to pass through the
Takes me half an hour to get to be allowed back in the customs area to retrieve the guitar, and then I have to pass through immigration again. This
is a different guy. Here I am, traveling alone, with no luggage but a guitar. VERY suspicious! The guitar is probably stuffed full of blow from
The peabrain actually takes the guitar out of the case, and is trying to look inside the soundhole to see the kilos of blow he is sure must be there.
He, too, tries to trip me up with words, just like they told him to.
"What have you been doing down there all this time, going to all these countries?" he asks, convinced I will trip up and spill the beans about where
I picked up the blow, where I stuffed it into the guitar, and who I'm selling it to as soon as I get in. I quickly think up another BS story, just to
screw with his mind, and get at least a little satisfaction out of my extra 45 minutes wasted time.
In maximum hippy dippy accent, I tell him, "I was playing all over as a street musician,, as a stepping stone to my career as a rock star. Here,
check this out, this is a song I wrote on the plane ride here..." I strummed the guitar.
"Put that thing back in the case, you're holding up the line. Welcome back to the US," he replied, sneering at me as he handed me my passport,
while thinking how far above a mere street musician HE is, a powerful AIRPORT IMMIGRATION CLERK, I mean DESK JOCKEY, I mean OFFICER. I laughed again
all the way out to the parking lot.
YOU MUST BE POLITE AT ALL TIMES. That's pretty much all it takes. If you learn