Wednesday, December 22, 2004

change of status

Two days ago I embarked upon a once-in-lifetime journey to the Canadian-U.S. border in order to do the 'landing' - in the Canadian bureaucratic lingo this term to describe the process whereby an immigrant arrives in Canada and becomes the country's permanent resident (landed immigrant). In short, I'm sort of a Canadian now!!! :-)
The trip itself was quite exhausting as I, lacking any means of transportation but my bicycle, had to take the bus to the border in Coutts, Alberta. It took 12 hours and made me even slightly depressed as I observed southern Alberta's rugged terrain. The dinosaurs used to roam there millions of years ago but it still looks like some psychedelic landscape with occasional towns and flora-less hills covered with a thin layer of snow.
As I passed through the town of Lethbridge I saw quite a few Mennonites wearing traditional attire: women in headscarves and men in traditional hats. In Greyhound's restroom in Lethbridge I dried my hands using a hand dryer which bilingual metal plate - every product carries description in both official languages in Canada - had the French part crisscrossed (I found it quite funny - it must've taken quite an effort for the perpetrators of this protestation against Canada's bilingualism policy, to scratch the metal surface).
Perhaps due to the fact that I was coming from within Canada, the bureaucratic procedure was devoid of any pomp and even slightest glamour. And it took less than 10 min to get it over with.
While there I thought of one appropriate 'proverbial' scene, the one that can be found in many movies about immigrants. Namely, how the protagonist arrives in America by ship and the first thing he\she sees is the statue of Liberty etc.. you got the picture.
As I said my entry, albeit only formal, was very prosaic. But hey, that ain't matter - henceforth I can rightfully call Canada my home!!!!!
Congratulate me on this, I'll be delighted!!! :-)


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