Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

at least two more months

An update on my immigration.

Last Monday, a week ago now, we found out that I do in fact have to have my police certificate from Japan. The website says it takes two to three months to acquire.

Dan was gutted.  I was, well, I don't even know. Sad, I think, but it didn't even really hit me until I got home that night and started thinking about the implications of that. Months. We thought, once again, foolishly, that we were only weeks away. When will this end? What can we do? I went into panic/overreact mode. I applied for a bunch of jobs. Why? I'm not sure exactly. My mind went to worst case scenario and it just felt like there was no end in sight to this saga.

The next morning, Tuesday, I went to the website for the Japan Consulate in Vancouver. Website said I had to go in person to apply for this document, but contact us first. I called at what I thought was a reasonable business hour for a government agency, 8:30, and they don't open until 9:30. So I called the Toronto consulate - I figured the procedure would be the same and since they are three hours ahead of us, they would be open. I was told that yes, I have to go in person to apply because they take fingerprints, bring my passport, and a document saying why I need a police certificate. I needed the latter because my reason did not fall into their list of reasons. Well, it just so happened I had one from the National Visa Center, so at least that part would be easy.

Then came the logistics. When would I go to Vancouver? At first I decided to go on Wednesday, the next day, but then I thought wait - if I leave right now (just after 9am) I could make the 11:00 ferry. With public transit I could be in downtown Vancouver by 2:30, and their office closes at 3:30. I could make it.

So that's what I did. I called Providence Farm to tell them I wouldn't be in that day, grabbed my water bottle and a few things and hopped in my truck, thankful there was enough gas in it that I didn't have to stop. It took me just over an hour to get to the ferry terminal, I arrived with just enough time to get a ticket and get on the ferry.

The ferry ride is an hour and 40 minutes. We docked at 12:40, the bus that goes to the transit station to catch the skytrain leaves on every hour. We left at 1:00 and I remember thinking to myself, "my, we sure are going fast. I wouldn't be surprised if we arrived early". We were scheduled to arrive at 1:37, we arrived at 1:24. I ran up the stairs and caught the train that was just about to leave. I got downtown and was in the Japan Consulate before 2pm, which pleased me.

It is a very quiet and comfortable office. The staff are efficient, friendly and gracious. It reminded me how much I loved the Japanese people. The process was very easy and I was finished before long. I asked about the two months thing. The woman I spoke to from Toronto told me that sometimes it takes less than two months, but they have to tell people "two months". So there is hope. The man who took my fingerprints told me that the time it takes is out of their hands and there is no way to expedite. O well. He also told me that when the document comes, it will go to the consulate, so I can either pick it up in person or they will send it to me.

From there, I could have taken public transit back to the ferry and driven home that night, culminating in a long and tiring day of travel, but I instead opted to visit some friends of mine who live just above the Chinatown skytrain station. They were happy to have me, even though they thought I would be gone (to North Carolina) by now. We had a simple dinner of prawns and sushi, and I pretty much retired early, being knackered from all my to-ing and fro-ing.

My friends cooked their prawns with the heads on. Do other people do this? I had one, then wasn't really excited to see all the cooked guts and eggs still inside, and focused on the sushi instead.

I had planned to take the 9:00 ferry back to the Island the following morning. That would mean leaving my friends' condo at around 7:30am. It would also have meant that I would arrived back on the Island around 10:40, and my parking expired at 10:30. I don't know how militant those parking attendants are about giving tickets, so I was a bit nervous about leaving so late. In the end, I was awake anyway (who can sleep in Vancouver with all that NOISE and LIGHT?), so I was out the door before 6:20 and left a note for my still-sleeping friends. I caught the 8:00 ferry in plenty of time and had terrible ferry food for breakfast.

My truck was still there on the other side, I came straight home and spend the day hanging out with Sam, who had missed me terribly during my night away. You might say we have a co-dependent relationship, and that would be true. I missed my kitty too.

So it's been a week now since all this has happened and I've had some time to let it sit with me that I would still be around here until at least September. I observed to Toni that I was sad but not depressed - so that was good. No one would fault me for either, I'm sure, but it is WAY easier to bounce back from being sad than from being depressed.

Normally I would have blogged about this right away, this immigration update, but quite honestly I haven't had the time or inclination to blog. I'm at the Farm three days a week, have a little job helping with some landscaping/reno stuff two days a week, and am spending the rest of my time reading, knitting, gardening and resting. There is a lot going on and at the moment it seems I only turn on my computer twice a week or so. I'm sure you all would love more detail about my life, but alas, there are only so many hours in a day and I am making a concentrated effort to be gentle with myself. I'm sure you understand.

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