Tag: waiting

The underwhelming email

Three days ago, Carl received a very nondescript business email, that could so easily have been overlooked. Just “re: Application #——“, the sort of thing that you would assume was spam if it hadn’t come into his official work inbox.
It was from Canadian Citizenship and Immigration:

“The processing of your application is complete. You must complete the following steps within 30 days in order for our office to issue your Confirmation of Permanent Residence and, if applicable, permanent residence visa.”

Not, “Congratulations and welcome to Canada!” Not even, “your application has been approved”. Just, ‘send us some passport photos’, that’s it. Kind of an anticlimax…
But hey, who needs a fanfare when this has been so long coming?! We are legit!! This needs celebrating, no matter what the method of communication. One month shy of 4 years in this country, and we have finally got approval to stay put. No more bureaucratic nightmares or trips to ‘flagpole’ at the border, no more expiring Health cards, no more being tied to exploitative employers. And in my case, no more “Click here to access start up funds for your new business! Wait, your SIN starts with a 9? Sod off then!”

Seriously happy about this!! We did it! Finally!!! As this blog hopefully demonstrates, it has been a long, slow, complicated, expensive and at times, very stressful and frustrating process. But so completely worth it!!

Permanent residency means that we can finally begin to actually live adult lives here. Not that I haven’t been ‘living’ here already, I feel more alive here than I ever did during the previous decade in Darlington. But everything so far has been, by definition, temporary. We survived one work permit to the next. We rent. We only use debit cards. My phone is still Pay as You Go. We bought a cheap secondhand car off Kijiji. My business partner has to own the majority share of the business that has taken over my whole life just because he’s local. If we left tomorrow, within 30 days there would probably be no official records of us having been here.

It’s a sad truth that the most significant part of “being permanent” is less the supposed security, and far more the ability to borrow money. When your paperwork says that you are supposed to leave the country in a few months time, no one is going to give you long term credit. No business loans. No bank overdrafts, no two-year phone contracts, and no mortgages.  With our new status and PR cards, we can do Grown Up things like, well, take on huge debt. Hypothetically, we are talking about buying a house here (it’s blue and pretty!) , but in the short term, I think I’ll start with upgrading my antique phone. Baby steps…

But enough financial angst! We got approved! Bring on the Prairie beer, tickets to the Pats game, toques, poutine and maple doughnuts!!! Eh??!



Of Lolcats, bread and (de)motivation

I have quit Facebook.

In many ways this is quite liberating. I spent far, far too much time faffing around on it, I had nearly 300 friends on there but only ever talked to the handful of friends that I saw locally anyway, and frankly it got too annoying. I am not a fan of “kittehz”, ‘cyoot’ or otherwise, and having a timeline full of Lolcats drove me quietly insane. However, my main qualms about leaving facebook were because if I ever do get to emigrate, Facebook is the method of choice for the vast majority of people to keep in contact internationally. By deactivating my account, I risk losing touch with a great many people.

But then I asked myself, who is on there that I would really be completely unable to contact without it? Only the people who I never talk to on there anyway. If I really want to talk to my friends, or if they want to talk to me, we can find a way. (and given recent events which I will spare the public airing, my enthusiasm for keeping in touch with one or two “friends” has been severely curbed anyway, but that is a different story.)

This is not to say that I am puritanically shunning all forms of social media – a fact made acutely obvious by this blog and my shameless promotion of it. I have discovered the wondrous simplicity of Google+ and my Twitter addiction is getting worse by the hour. Google+ is an odd one though – it is not a direct replacement for Facebook because it allows and actively encourages you to converse with total strangers. It is not just ‘boast-by-post’ popularity contest like facebook, and I’ve got into some very interesting discussions on there. However, it also gives rise to all manner of well-meaning but slightly nauseating motivational memes, more bloody lolcats and “epic lolz” videos of people falling over. I now have a ‘circle’ for all people who I normally like, but who post cute kitten pictures, so that they can be censored before perusal. Sound harsh? Well you’ll never know if you’re in the circle, so go swing a cat! 😛

The sort of motivational memes are sometimes sentimentally inspiring, but mostly just toe-curlingly insipid. I give you an example:

Believe it or not, that is one of the less cringe-worthy ones.

I’d argue that anyone who designs these things, anyone who advocates the carpe diem, ‘chase your dreams’ or ‘reach for the stars’ or ‘just do it’ attitudes has obviously never dealt with international migration bureaucracy. I would dearly love to ‘follow my heart’ and jump into the unknown and ‘never stop believing’ or whatever little soundbyte you care to mention, but it is never as simple as that!! I posted a rhetorical question on Twitter the other day: “why can’t life be cheaper and less complicated?” I got one response: “because then it wouldn’t be life, it would be, erm… BREAD.” I like this metaphor. Bread is simple to make and relatively cheap. It is also quite dull unless you add things to it. It takes a long time, to, erm, (im)prove.  And the more you beat the crap out of it, the better it gets. Yep, I could do with Life being more like Bread.

But back to real life: my lovely new employers have been busting their proverbial guts to satisfy the immigration office’s requirements, continually phoning to see how long the application will take and so on. But the standard answer is still “12-15 weeks from 9th December” (when, apparently, they received the application. Or at least, when they opened the letter a week after we’d sent it). It has now been 12 weeks since then.

So it can’t be long now.

Can it?

It could still get rejected, too…..


I have escaped for the weekend to my parents house with Miri, just to chill out for a bit. This wait is depressing me so much, I really cannot stand Darlington now, there is nothing there for me any more, and I don’t want Miranda to be in such a depressing, grey, unpleasant place any more than she has to be.

Being here has given me time to mess around too, so I’ve made my own pastiche meme in my favourite style, the Demotivational Poster. I fully expect it to go viral and find its way all over teh interwebz. Service Canada take note, here is the world’s first “LolMiri”: