One thing I was dreading as I planned this trip was the actual entry into the US. How tough would the process be? On the face of it, fairly painless, as it turned out. Some intense quizzing on my plans and finances, my passport copied, my fingerprints taken, my eyes photographed. Surprisingly, no notice taken of my ESTA document.
Canada however was more low-key. Looked at my passport, asked briefly about my travel plans, welcome to Canada. That’s it. Not a gun in sight.
This contrast, which applies across the board, is well illustrated by each nation’s attitude to their seat of government. The US Capitol is ringed by a fence with lots of armed guards about. You rock up to the door of the Canadian Parliament and you’re directed by an attendant to the point of departure for the free tour. A line drawn on a map makes such a difference.