Thursday, March 15, 2007

Tomorrow, we have been in Canada as landed permanent residents for 2 weeks.

Last Friday Diane, myself and the driver of our moving van met in Victoria to pass through Customs. Our driver was really nervous. A) there was nowhere to park an 80’ moving van and B) they had just waived him through at the border in Blaine, neglecting to seal the truck. He also failed to mention to us that he had several run-ins in the past with a Customs official at this office. When we got there we had a small crate of any and all paperwork that might ever be asked for. It just so happened that an Immigrations officer was covering the desk for the Customs office. He was helping an elderly man who was there to pay duty on a stamp collection that had been sent to him. The Immigrations officer looked at me and asked ‘We don’t pay PST on post, do we?” I shrugged my shoulders and said “I don’t think so, GST only, I think.” Now, I’ve been in the country a week. I’ve been to the post to buy stamps once. They were standard postage stamps, not a stamp collection. I’m guessing, here, really what the fuck do I know.
And so on the little old man goes. We step up to the counter.
“We are here to present our list of ‘goods to follow’. Our driver is circling the block because he cannot find parking”, says Diane.
Immigration man looks at the extensive documentation listing our goods and glances at the crate with our personal files, “Right, well it seems you’ve got all the paperwork in order. Are you bringing in anything that you shouldn’t be bringing in?”
“No,” simultaneously we reply.
Stamp, stamp, stamp, stamp.
“Okay then, there you go.”

Yes, it was that easy. Our driver swears that if we had not had every conceivable paper that could possibly be requested it would have been much different. So all I can give as advice is, to make it go smoothly, more than cover your ass. Have every document that they could possibly ask for.

The movers delivered our stuff the next day. They had to shuttle our goods from Millstream Road to our house, in a smaller van. After a week, we are about 90% unpacked. I have to say, nothing I packed was broken or damaged. The antiques that we had ‘professionally’ (I use the word loosely) crated were damaged. We purchased 100% insurance value replacement with the moving company so I’m not going to stress about it. It will all be fixed. All is repairable. The home office is at least partially put together, I can sit at the desk and type this instead of on the floor in the corner.

I love it here. I love the weather. Usually sunny in the morning and misty rain by late afternoon. My lungs and skin feel alive. I have lost weight. I call it the “Leaving Las Vegas Diet”. I have gained joi de vive. I found myself appreciating the beauty of rain drops on an arbutus leaf while I listened to the stream run by the house. It smells good here. Pine and moss and patchouli.

I will start the job search in a couple of weeks. Diane is still working for her U.S. employer. We are having friends over this weekend for St. Patty’s and I will post pictures on flicker.


1 comment:

West End Bound said...

Oh, and it sounds so peaceful, too!

Thanks for the border crossing update - We wondered how it would go for you. With all your organization, however, we had no doubts.

Your post makes us even more anxious to follow in your footsteps. Counting the days, counting the days . . . . .