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美加边境的桔子风波
Culprit of my ordeal at US border: two bags of oranges

虽然加美边境所发生的种种噩梦般的经历不时见诸报端,但并非所有的边境事件都涉及非法资金、管制药物或危险武器,有时候像健康食品这样的琐碎之物可能也会给你带来意外麻烦,从而使一场旅游的快乐顿时荡然无存。

Nightmares and horror stories at the Canada and US border frequently make it to newspaper headlines. But not all border incidents involve illegal funds, controlled substances or dangerous weapons, materials as trivia as healthy food products may give you surprises, and ruin an otherwise exciting trip.

作为一名经常前往美国的旅客,我在美国边境一直通关顺利,从未发生过任何麻烦。但是我最近前往南卡罗来纳州时在温莎-底特律海关过境的遭遇,却令我始料未及。当我们在边境等待通关时,我原本以为在简短的例行询问后就可被放行,以继续我们的长途旅行。

As a frequent traveler to the US, I have always been given a green-light at the US border without issue. But that all changed on my recent trip to South Carolina at the Winsor-Detroit border. When we were stopped at the border, I expected to be allowed to continue with our journey after only a brief routine interview.

但没想到边境警卫却指示我们将车停到指定地点,并命令我们下车且不得携带任何私人物品。

But out of blue, the border guard directed us to park the car at a designated spot, and ordered us to leave the vehicle without carrying any personal belongings.

“下车,将你们的手机放在座位上!”大喇叭里传来的警卫指令喊道。

Step out of your vehicle and leave your cell phone on the seat!” a big voice came out from a loudspeaker.

我顿时被吓蒙了,感到自己遭到罪犯一样待遇。与此同时,我的脑海里也开始不断涌现出一些在此边境曾发生的某些恐怖经历,包括女性在边境遭遇搜身和性骚扰,及某些少数族裔因其他宗教信仰而遭逮捕。在深感困惑与迷茫的同时,我的大脑产生极度焦虑。如此遭遇原因为何?我没有携带任何药物或危险武器,从未有过任何犯罪记录,也没有上过禁飞名单。

I was terrified. I felt like they were treating me as a criminal. Border horror stories of women being bodily searched and harassed, and ethnic minorities of other religious faith were arrested, began to flood into my mind. I was baffled and dazed, and the anxiety level shot to the roof. How did I end up in this situation? I wasn’t carrying any drugs or dangerous weapons. I’ve never even commit a crime, nor have I ever made it to the no-fly list.

我们被带进一个狭小的房间接受一名女警员的进一步盘问。寻找以宪章条款而维护自我权利的努力以失败告终。但当我就发现他们所关注的焦点是我车上的两袋橘子时,我顿感到如释重负,但同时又深感荒谬可笑。

We were led into a cramped room to be further interviewed by a female officer. My attempt to seek any defence using constitutional rights failed. But soon after I found that their questions focused on the two bags of oranges in the car, I felt so relieved and silly at the same time.

我很喜欢吃橘子,因为它们便于剥食,因此也是旅途中的最佳水果。由于加元走低,所以我在入境美国前于安省伦敦市购买了这两袋每袋价格为$6.00元的橘子,以便能够省下几元钱。

I love oranges; they are easily to peel and split, and are the best fruits to carry while traveling. I bought two bags of them in London Ontario for $6.00 each prior to entering the US border, trying to save a few bucks because of the weak Canadian dollar.

不就两袋橘子,至于吗?如果他们是担心某些国外食品会对美国造成健康威胁,这些橘子事实上是从美国进口的,难道他们不信任自己国家所种植水果的安全性?

But were these two bags of orangessuch a big deal? If some food products from foreign countries may pose health threat to the US, these oranges were imported from the US. Wouldn’t they trust the safety of the fruits grown in the backyards of their own country?

我辩称道:“这些橘子实际上都是美国的产品,我们将其备为长途驾驶旅程中的零食。”

“The oranges were actually the products of the US and we intended to use them as healthy snacks during the prolonged driving trip,” I argued.

但我的辩解却不能阻止他们的执法行动。女警官严厉地说道:很遗憾,一旦这些橘子离开了美国,就禁止再次入境!”

 But nothing could stop them from their enforcement actions. The female officer gave me a stern look: “Unfortunately, once these oranges left the US, they are prohibited from re-enter the country!”

但这一理由似乎并无法解释他们所关注的食品安全问题。我怎么也想不通为什么这些橘子在往返于美国途径中其安全性会打折扣。

But that couldn’t explain their food safety concerns. I couldn’t figure out why the safety of the oranges could be compromised by simply making a round trip back to the country.

但由于担心再争论下去可能会带来更严重后果,我只好闭嘴。两名警员在结束搜查后拎着两袋橘子下了车,而我的这场灾难也随着两袋橘子的消失而告终。

But I kept silent, worrying about the serious consequences I could face if I argued further. Two officers finished the search and left my car holding the two bags of oranges in their hands. My ordeal ended as I watched the oranges disappear. 

如果说这“微不足道”的$6元钱橘子根本不值得美国边境警卫剑拔弩张,你相信吗,一枚$2元的奇趣蛋也曾引发了一名加国女性和美国边检人员间的“争端”。

If $6 oranges were “trivial” enough to ruff the feathers of US border guards, believe it or not, a $2 kinder surprise egg caused a kerfuffle between a Canadian woman and US border agents.

CBC报道,这名女性是在驾车入境美国时被抽查,结果边检人员在她车上查获了违禁品,一枚价值仅$2元的奇趣蛋。

According to the CBC, when the woman was stopped at the US border and selected for a random search of her car, the $2 Kinder egg was seized as a banned product.

美国当局之所以禁止这种糖果入境,是因为“其内含塑料小型玩具,儿童误食可能会导致窒息”。

The candy was banned because “a plastic toy inside it could choke a child, if eaten”.

据美国海关和边防部门称,当局已经确定奇趣蛋会对幼儿造成窒息风险。因此美国对非法奇趣蛋进行了严查,仅在一年时间里就从2,000宗搜查内检获逾2.5个奇趣蛋。

According to the U.S. department of customs and border protection, Kinder eggs have been determined to present a choking hazard to young children. The U.S. takes catching illegal Kinder candy seriously. During one year period, over 25,000 of kinder eggs in 2,000 separate seizures.

美国政府还告诉该名女子,如果她要就没收或销毁奇趣蛋提出抗辩,必需支付$250元储存费,以便保存这枚被查的奇趣蛋,直至这场争端结束。


The U.S. government told the woman that if she contested the seizure or the destruction of her seized Kinder egg, she has to pay $250 for it to be stored pending outcome of the dispute.

但实际上奇趣蛋造成伤害的风险微乎其微,因为其内藏的小玩具很难吞咽。美国边检人员是否缺乏普通的认知能力?似乎持续的高安全警戒状态已导致他们失去了一般的判断力。

But there is little chance that the treats would harm anyone, as they are difficult to get into. Have the US border agents lost their commons sense? It appears that the constant high alert against security threats have deprived their sound judgment. 

该名女性向CBC表示:“这只是一个朱古力蛋,但却被他们大做文章。他们甚至说‘如果你被发现携带此蛋过关,会被处于$300元罚款……’,这实在是荒谬可笑,荒谬可笑至极。”

"It's just a chocolate egg," the woman told CBC. "And they were making a big deal. They said 'if you were caught with this across the border you would get charged a $300 fine… It's ridiculous. It's so ridiculous," she said.

如果奇趣蛋的命运是被销毁,那我的橘子不知道会落得什么下场。现在正是橘子最甘甜可口之时,销毁橘子可谓是暴殄天物。

If the kinder egg was destroyed, I wonder what they have done to my oranges. They were at their sweetest and juiciest, and were too precious to be obliterated.

但其最终命运还是要依赖于边检人员的判断力。

But it’s judgment call of the border agency.


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