On one of my many forays to the south, I was fortunate enough to be entertained in Mohawk country – something I encourage others to think about. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived within a kilometre of the Akwesesne reserve, St. Regis, Cornwall Island, Turtle Island. It’s a mish-mash of American-Canadian-Quebec-Ontario rules and regulations. Let’s see now, can I make a right on a red light?
Given the somewhat exotic atmosphere of another country just across the river from where I rested my tired head during my stay, I did enjoy what our southern brethren have to offer. There was a casino a few minutes away on the New York side, which is apparently a lot easier to get to than getting back from, according to one witless witness.
Band card or no band card, Jay Treaty or what not, the Canadian border guards were a lot harsher in their inspection. Keep up the good work, custom dudes, now I know I’m safe from same-day returning Canadian tourists, who may plot to send Tim Hortons south, where I hear tell that doughnuts are right up there with bacon when it comes to Canadian exports.
Enough of the border, I’m just glad that it’s the world’s longest border, long enough to keep those pesky Yanks at bay. Just say tax, tax and more tax, that should keep them away.
Speaking of entertainment, we, a general assembly of smart people talking money, took part in the usual choice of the ice-breaking and general getting to know the area: it was either slugging it out on a golf club under rainy skies or getting a plush boat ride on the St. Lawrence Seaway.
I chose the latter, just to see whether or not there were highspeed smuggling boats, or at least the Canadian version of Miami Vice, scooting around the channels with cases of contraband cigarettes. But, no, it was just us tooling around for a while at two knots, although the history part of the tour was interesting enough to merit another trip.
Then we had a cultural show, which, interesting to note, is having a resurgence after years of steel-working and living in one of the most developed areas of North America wasn’t enough to erode away the Mohawks resilience, border patrols and all, they survived.
Later on, an event showcasing an Aboriginal hypnotist became what would be something I thankfully do not remember much of. The first part of the show was hilarious, people doing pretty good imitations of their favourite recording star, a lot of sleeping (instantly I must add) and even some mass hypnosis seemed to be going on as several people began nodding in and out of the show. Unbeknownst to their conscious thoughts, they were succumbing to the hypnotic suggestions.
It seemed to work, as I felt compelled to become a guinea pig. Soon after being on stage, I returned to my seat, feeling the embarrassing stares from the audience. Apparently a cue was left in me and the other victims’ subconscious, because for some reason, we were all gyrating and slapping our behinds for no apparent reason.
I just hope that the show doesn’t make it to YouTube.