Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August 12: Oh, Canada!

We arrive at the border -- ironically, in Woodstock, New Brunswick -- a few hours after we leave Bangor. I know there will be trouble, because the stupid Canadian Consulate in NYC has not issued me the letter authorizing my work permit, which I will need to enter the country. The Consulate has spent weeks ignoring my every effort to get any information at all about my permit, and Zoë's study permit.

The other two cars are waved through. They don't even ask to see the cats' vaccination records. They don't ask to look in the moving truck.

So I go inside and talk to the Immigration Officer, a fine young fellow, and recount my tale of woe and frustration. I show him my papers, although I can't find my job offer letter. I show him the copy on my computer, which he accepts without question. He looks up my application.

He comes back to inform me that the Consulate has issued a work permit to ROB, and a study permit for Zoë, but they have no record of ME. The applicant. The person with the job and the job offer and the Labour Market Opinion authorizing my employer to hire me. All of those documents issued to ME. But the work permit, apparently, has been issued to Rob, who has none of those things. That makes perfect sense in Bizarro world, I'm sure.

The Immigration Officer issues me a work permit. He assures me that contrary to what the consulate told me, Zoë does not need a study permit at all. I have to pay the fee for the work permit all over again. Maybe the consulate will give me a refund, he says.

We are on our way. It's pretty in New Brunswick, but we just want to get to the house. I call the realtor from Salisbury, Nova Scotia and tell her we're going to be arriving late. She wants to meet us at the airport, thinking we are flying in. It gets sorted out.

We arrive at the house about 930pm. It's dark. There is more traffic than expected on the street, and buses! The entire time I was looking at the house, I saw virtually no traffic, and no buses. Rob is now convinced we live on a superhighway. It is not. There isn't even a line on the road.

We realize that we made a mistake (one of many) by not packing the futons in the back of the truck, where we could get to them easily. So Rob and I get in the truck and start unloading enough stuff to get to the mattresses, so Zoë and Denise have somewhere to sleep.

The bikes were the last thing to go on the truck -- with great difficulty -- so we take them out and park them in the backyard, under the deck. We dig the mattresses out and get to bed sometime around 1am.

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