Everything has gone swimmingly, pretty much, since I landed in Canada. Rob and I flew into Pearson Tuesday, on separate flights (from now on, hopefully, our overseas flights will be in sync) and met up in the Arrivals Hall shortly after I had landed. Immigration had been a breeze – I handed over my papers to a pleasant and efficient official who bantered and laughed with me as we went through the few simple formalities – so much so that when we had finished I thanked him and remarked how easy and friendly it had all been.
‘I could hassle you if you like,’ he joked, half-rising and putting his hand on his gun.
‘No thanks,’ I said, ‘I leave that to the Americans.’
‘Heck, you know, they scare me too,’ he laughed, settling back in his seat.
In no time at all I had an information pack explaining how get an all-important Social Insurance Number (SIN) and register with OHIP – the Toronto public health service – and was on my way.
In just a couple of days, I have done an eye test and ordered a fabulous new pair of spectacles; got my Social Insurance Number and Permanent Residence Number (cards to follow in the mail), opened a bank account, helped Rob stock up the house with the basics (Canadian salmon for dinner tonight!), unpacked my stuff and settled in. There is still some re-arranging to be done, to find the stuff that Rob had packed away during her absence in South Africa, little things to do to make the house ‘ours’, and office space to arrange for me – but, as I say, all in all it has gone swimmingly.
People have been friendly, polite, efficient; Toronto is familiar to me by now, and I feel pretty much comfortable and at ease; and I am looking forward to having Christmas and the holiday season behind us so I can get on with rewriting my novel and looking about for work.
Easy, swimming….but may I add to that that I am, also, in a mild state of only partly acknowledged shock? Here I am, in Toronto, a city I have visited many times, in a house I have stayed in often before – but here I am, too, with a Social Insurance Number, a bank account, a permanent residence visa, a Canadian wife. Shit man, this is a whole new story!
Which is the whole point, I suppose, really.