It made me feel a bit better when another guy in secondary inspection was an actual American, a hunter who had headed up to the northern Manitoba backcountry to shoot game. He said he always gets pulled in for having guns and camping gear. He said it's ridiculous that the land border isn't open. He also said it was dumb that so many people were "flooding in" on the Mexican border while they're not letting Canadians in "who are our friends", but i let it pass because he seemed like an otherwise decent guy. Honestly, the hunters i've met on this journey are the most friendly and useful contacts i've had when it comes to tips about where to travel, where to camp and what places are beautiful. I still think killing animals for sport is creepy, but you can't deny there is a subset of North American hunters who are solid outdoorsmen that really love going out in nature, and they're a very different bunch to the obnoxious German trophy hunters i encountered on the plane to Namibia a few years back.
Pretty much everyone in line was complaining about the cost of the COVID tests we all had to do, in spite of the fact that everyone i talked to was vaccinated. People have this vibe of "what's the point of vaccination if we still have to do all this nonsense", which, i can't say i disagree. One guy pointed out that in America there are entire stadiums full of unmasked, and - to some degree - unvaccinated sports fans packed in tightly, shouting and cheering all over each other, meanwhile we're all masked and tested just for an hourlong flight. Not to mention they're not even letting people over the land border where we would all be socially distanced in our own private mode of transport anyway. I mean. Fuck.
There was also the usual group of performatively "rich" people who decided to talk about Bitcoin prices and compare how much they spent on the flight (one guy was proud to have spent double what i did) and then compare how much it was versus charter flights, which go up into the thousands of dollars per hour... but of course that's how the ultra rich get over the border without spending 1.5 hours in security. I almost forgot that performatively "rich" people existed because i never go anywhere where they go, except airports apparently.
Anyway, here i am. At a chain coffee shop. Waiting for the bike shop to open. I sense a picture post incoming...