Proof of ties

It turns out that when you go off to study in America, America is pretty interested in making sure that you leave afterwards. So one of the things we’ll have to provide when we cross the border, along with proof of identity and proof that we have enough money to live while we’re there is “proof of ties to Canada.”

We’re not sure what that means. Sure, we plan to move back to Canada in a couple of years. And of course we have ties here — we were both born and raised in Ontario and most of our families and basically all of our friends live in Canada. But I’m not sure how one itemizes those historic and emotional ties for border patrol.

Stan’s planning to phone the American Embassy here in town to find out what they’re looking for. In the meantime, I have been brainstorming some ideas of my own:

– Matching maple leaf tattoos in prominent body locations (I’m thinking: forehead)

– A choreographed recitation of patriotic poems and songs

– Investment in some anti-American bumper stickers

– Writing a series of essays on the advantages of socialized medicine (and then giving them to the border guards to read as I’m sure they’ll be very interested)

– Providing a meandering anecdote about the time my cousin B and I were fighting over whose country was better, which culminated in her punching me repeatedly through her pillow while I chanted “Vietnam! Vietnam!”

– Proving my inability to remember the words to the American national anthem (“…Whose bright stripes and bright stars, na na na naa na naaaaa, Were so naaaaa na na naaaa na na na na na waving, And the rockets’ red glaaaaaaaaare….”)

– Explaining that Canada will inevitably draw me back since it’s the only place I can get a decent poutine

Yup. That’ll work.