These have been interesting experiences. Very different from previous years. Not sure if the officers are trained to use small talk, or if they are just curious, or bored to tears with stock standard responses to their questions, but...
Crossing over into Canada at Buffalo NY, there was a young guy, probably late twenties, early thirties. Having waited for some 10 minutes for the three cars in front of me to pass through, I handed over my passport when I pulled up to the window. Out came the usual questions.
Where are you going?
Where did you come from?
Why are you entering Canada?
Whose car is this?
And so on....
All the while the officer is not looking at me, but leafing through my passport. He then stunned me when he asked about my trip to Antarctica. Seems he is interested in going there. So for the next five minutes or so, we talked about the options and costs, as well as all the sights. And all that while a half dozen or more cars were waiting behind me.
Crossing back into the US at Detroit, the officer was much the same. He asked the standard questions, and some more, and then wanted to know more about the car. If it belongs to me, how come I bought it in PA and have MT plates? We spent some time discussing how this vehicle was purchased, and the difficulty non-residents have in purchasing their own vehicle. He said he had never heard that, and had no idea.
Then, deep in thought, he asked, 'What made you purchase such a fuel efficient vehicle?' I smiled, and simply said, 'Next question?' He handed me back my passport, and I was on my way.
And when I have been asked if I have any firearms on board, I simply said, 'I want to meet people, not shoot them'. It seemed to satisfy.
There are at least six more border crossings ahead of me. I am looking forward to further discussions with border security. They must get tired of hearing the same old thing and seeing the same passports, day in day out. Maybe I can make their day.