I intentionally stalled at the duty free shop before getting into the Coutts US Customs lineup to enter the states. I just had a feeling. A cooler full of carrots, water, and other food items could not have fared well. What about the Burning Man Festival? Oh, they probably wouldn't want to hear about that. I wasn't worried about getting into the country, actually. I was more worried about being interrogated. That is exactly what happened. After I explained to the female customs officer that I was riding my motorcycle to Brazil via LA, she asked why I was doing it, and I replied, "Carnaval, business opportunities, a chance to test my skills and have an adventure". "Please park your vehicle in the lot, and enter through the main doors, sir". I walked in, and was immediately ushered into a locked room with a metal cage separating myself and the male officer. "Why are you going to Brazil?" "How much money do you have saved up for this?" "Do you have any firearms in your jacket?" "Do you have any weapons on you?" The questions were coming like a rapid-fire machine gun, and I struggled to stay calm. "Take a look in my pocket, there's a card there." He walked away, and was sitting at the computer for what seemed like an eternity. I thought he was probably checking some interesting video that his coworkers sent him. Meanwhile, still struggling, I filled out the paperwork he requested I go through, and had many moments of thinking time. "What AM I doing? How in the hell do I expect to do this? What other madness will befall me? What if I can't get through the bloody us border???" AFter about 20 minutes, the officer came back and discussed a few things with me. He had obviously read my blog, and I noted a bit of personal connection there. He was intrigued to say the least. "We've never had a situation like this before. I will not be able to authorize you entry in the country. I'll need to speak with my supervisor" he said. I scanned the office for the illicit supervisor. A couple women were jovially laughing at their desks, one other officer needed help to fix the printer, but no 'supervisor'. Finally, the officer came back and said "I've spoken with my supervisor and explained what you are up to, and I believe you are telling the truth that you will not be working illegally in the country." I said, "you have my word. I have no interest in working in your country, and no intention of doing so. In fact, I hope that you are working on the day I come back through so I can show you what I was really up to." "I hope I am working that day" he replied "I'd be interested to see how you did". "Make sure there are no names included in that blog". "Of course," I said "Not a problem. Take care of yourselves."
So, $15,000 is not enough to travel to south america and back, Juarez, Mexico is the most dangerous area on the planet right now, and every country needs to be notified that I'm passing through. Thank you. I'm awake.