Purpose of your application?

Crossing the border had never been an issue ever since I had become a Canuck (I will pass on some past chapters of being “just” a Frog and being systematically questioned about the purpose of my trip down South), and I thought I was prepared to all the possible questions to temporarily migrate to another land of freedom. Little did I know. I had packed most of my life, yet again, super excited to go onto another project abroad and work with a new team, in a new region of this small world and learn new skills. A smooth sailing was just not in the cards that first time.

Rodeo cowboys - Beaver Creek

Rodeo cowboys – Beaver Creek

The immigration officer grilled me with questions deep enough for him to get a sense of the purpose of my application for a temporary work permit. In theory, the answer is in the question. In reality, although I did not need an interpreter to clarify what seemed blurry to him, his understanding of the event world was fairly limited, in spite of all my efforts in suggesting different perspectives. The conversation was cordial, and I kept my cool enough to be invited to reapply without having to require a judge any next time. How nice!
Being escorted out by two mean-looking (and acting a bit like cowboys) immigration/police agents, armed and wearing bulletproof jackets was a tad over the top (and I understand they may be exposed to rebellious candidates), I felt both out of place (which I momentarily was) and a bit of the unnecessary centre of attention of a poor spectacle. Briefly feeling like a suspect of having done something fraudulent and condemnable, I sat down for a moment thinking about what had gone wrong.
The second attempt went much faster in understanding that the officer I dealt with simply did not want to undertake any administrative task that day, claiming many unfounded reasons justifying how incomplete my application was. I did not give up, not my style. The third time I presented my application for further (re)consideration, I saw the first officer who had rejected it earlier that month. Breathing deeply and slowly, I was on another “nothing to lose” mindset. After a long wait, where the use of electronic devices is prohibited, another officer asked me one question, never looked at me in the eyes, and used a rather condescending tone throughout to finally stamp my passport and walk me out to the flight boarding area. Just like that.
In retrospect, celebrating Canada Day today (Happy Canada Day!!!), I will be working and take Friday off to tag along local festivities. And learn, always, only to confirm that we are all the same, regardless of what side of the “border” we stand. Maybe that was the very purpose of my application.