Let me give your the short version first. I’m a Canadian citizen. Now here’s the long version.
A long time ago, God created the heavens and the earth… Ok, let’s fast forward a bit to where I come in.
As usual, luck was on my side. I took line 129 which took me right to my destination, the Centre Hellenique de Montreal. A line was already forming. Then it got dissolved by the organizers into more of a mosh pit. Then into several lines according to the number in your paper which was also the number of the seat.
I had gone in a suit. Most people were in winter clothes, but there were others in suits too so I didn’t feel too out of place. I had taken with me all the papers required. Other people just seem to come in without a clue and I don’t know how the organizers managed to sort them out.
There was a sad moment for me when I handed in my Residency Card. I knew I’d never see it again. THAT was the card that took me six years, five minutes, a million lines, a ton of paperwork, three years of french, one third of my life savings spent on intermediaries and a ton of tribulations to get. THAT was the card that made me cry alone by myself when I got it on the mail when I knew NOBODY in this city. THAT was the card that in the past four years has allowed me to leave and come back to Canada. THAT was the card behind blood, sweat and tears.
But I had resigned myself to give it up, because it’s not the plastic rectangle but what it represents that mattered to me.
The ceremony was presided by a Lady from the Order of Canada. She seemed warm enough in her speech, took the time to announce all the 73 countries represented there and made certain the ceremony was long enough to give everyone a sense of accomplishment but short enough so that we could get our certificates. She administered the oath in both French and English. You could repeat after her for either or both. Yes, I took it in both languages. She had us turn to each other and congratulate our neighbors after that (shades of catholic mass here).
The National Anthem was sung in French then switched to English in the middle. I had been trying to learn it in English but resorted to reading it anyway to prevent hesitation. After that they started calling names and we were given our certificates. I gave my camera to a lady so that she’d take a picture of me just when I received the certificate, but she didn’t figure out that she had to hold the button for more than a second and I lost that picture opportunity. I did have someone else take a couple later in front of the flags.
I texted a message to my fb status from the bus 🙂
On other news… I decide to start buying comics again. There’s something there that keeps my geek status from completely falling away.
I also went to the movies the other night with K and her friend and saw Alice in Wonderland in 3D. It’s pure Tim Burton… I’ll put the review somewhere else so whoever reads this for the previous news doesn’t get spoilers.
I have my train tickets, hotel reservations and of course concert tickets for May. I can’t wait.
I restart my guitar classes tomorrow. I’m going to be quite rusty, I’m afraid. I have practiced since Sunday though, hope I am in somewhat of a jamming condition.
Will probably rejoin meetup sometime between now and the weekend. Not that I’m not quite busy already! Possible plans for St. Pat’s on Sunday. But Saturday I’ve got a birthday party. We’ll see.
Enough for now. Thanks everyone 🙂