I wonder if anyone else has had a heart racing border crossing? Here's mine. I was young and bought the cheapest ticket to India, which wasn't actually to India but to Dhaka, and the idea was to cross overland what looked like a short distance on the map but it required more than a day to actually cover it. Bangladesh did not require visas from Americans, India did.
This is a crossing from India to Bangladesh, March 1989. I was returning to Bangladesh after 2 months in India. The border crossing between these two countries at that time was by foot only: there was no through train or bus service.
The journey from Calcutta to the border was to take a local train from the Sealdah rail station, disembark at Bangaon, then get a bicycle rickshaw to the border a few miles away, about a 40 minute ride. There was no bus service to the border. The border facilities on the India side consisted of several detached government buildings. Trucks were lined up on the road waiting for permission to cross the border.
I arrived at the first Indian immigration building, went in and then got a puzzling question. "Where is your visa for Bangladesh?" I explained that Americans didn't need one, and showed that I had entered Bangladesh in January without one. He shook his head and said no, I needed one, and that I had to return to the consulate in Calcutta to obtain one. Then I suggested he let me try crossing without a visa, and if that doesn't work then I will return to Calcutta for a visa. He refused that suggestion, so I kind of lost it and with a raised voice said, "Who are you to say what the Bangladesh government requires?" That was a mistake, I was refused exit, something was handwritten in my passport like "Exit denied. Mr _____ is invited to return to Calcutta to obtain a visa."
So I left that first building, sat on the curb, and contemplated repeating that time consuming trip to Calcutta, there and back, for a visa I didn't need. Then I decided to just go for it. I pretended to walk away from the border but instead circled back around the waiting trucks out of sight and proceeded to the second Indian border building. There they asked to see my passport, she fortunately didn't notice the missing exit stamp or the handwritten admonishment about obtaining a visa, and proceeded to look through everything in my luggage. I recall that all currency had to be produced and counted, and film canisters had to be counted, there was some limit of how much camera film a person could bring in or out of the country, I was under the limit (it was 40 rolls, I think). Everything counted was recorded in a big ledger.
Then came the last hurdle. I walked up to the actual border, heart racing, and an armed Indian soldier again asked to see my passport, flipped through the pages not noticing the missing exit stamp, and waved me on. I then crossed the border into Bangladesh without legally exiting India. I had no idea how my disobedience would play out with the Bangladesh immigration official. He flipped though the passport remarking that I didn't have a visa, but in a positive way. I said I didn't need one, and had crossed from India without an exit stamp. He jumped up and shouted to his coworkers that I was the first person there who had passed from India without a visa. He apologized for the Indian officials and that they always send people back whether they need a visa and or not, he’d heard the complaints. I was almost treated like a celebrity. So it worked out.