An odd border crossing

Packed up and headed to the Brazil/Argentina border this morning. Took a bus as far as I could and then walked the rest of the way to Brazilian customs. The line here was long and barely moving, eventually after about an hour I made my way to the front and found the reason the line was moving so slow was that the Brazilian customs officer was the most cheerful and chatty border person in history.

We talked a bit, he had a fascinating presence, seeming both extremely capable and in charge and also having just the greatest time. He asked me if everyone I met in Brazil was nice to me and if I would come back to Brazil again, we chatted more and he stamped my passport. Then he actually came around the barrier and shook my hand. Really unusual start to a border crossing.

I walked across the border and to a building on the Argentina side marked “Pedestrian/Peatonal/Pedestre”, I walked in and assumed I was in the wrong place as there was no one around. I stepped back out the way I came and saw the hundreds of cars waiting to drive across both sides and looked for where I should actually go. A woman called out in Spanish from the room I was just in so I went back. I handed her my passport, she handed it back and pointed me down a long, dark hallway. I walked down, around a corner and down another hall, zero people around. At the end of the hall was a metal detector and luggage scanner so I waited beside them. After a few minutes of standing around and occasionally calling out “Hola?” I shrugged, walked through the metal detector and out into Argentina. So, am I here legally and officially? No idea. But hey, Argentina!


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