Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deceptively Simple

Today was Service Ontario day. Monday was supposed to be Service Ontario day, but it would appear a passport is required and my passport did not accompany me on my travails on Monday. So, today was Service Ontario Day.

And by that, I mean I applied for my Ontario driver's license today.

I still walk past signs with the Ontario logo on it and think "oh god I'm in Ontario". Never once was that a goal of mine. Never. I often now flash back to when I was in Toronto 25 years ago (ouch) as a naive small town grade nine girl and the comments the kids from Toronto would make. Like when we were back in Pincher Creek and walking someplace. As soon as the kids from Pincher would hit a curb, we would automatically step off to cross the street. The kids from Toronto would be confused - left behind on the curb because they would never think of just stepping off to cross a street in Toronto. As they rushed up to catch up with us, they exclaimed "Hey! No one runs you over here!"

Well, now I live where people try to run me over. And they do. They really really do. Like I'm not in the middle of the street when they're trying to make a turn. They honk at non-existent beings and they run over the existent ones. I feel like Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy -- "Hey! I'm walking here!" (that reference is correct, isn't it?)

So now I'm going to have an official license to become one of them. And the lady who took my application was only partially stupid. My current Alberta license was issued in 2004, and expires next week on my birthday. For those of us with basic math skills, that means my current license has been valid for five years. Well the lady at Service Ontario who took my license asked if I've been a driver for longer than two years.

Why, as a matter of fact, I have. Since I was 16 actually.

"Well I need proof you've been a driver for at least two years."

Uh, you have it. My license? In your hand.

"I have to go online and see what Alberta's records show. If they don't show you've been licensed longer than two years, you have a problem."

Again, if you wish not to take me at my word that I've been licensed for 24 years, allow me to direct you to the case of Alberta License v. Your Hand. Issued 2004. Expires 2009. Valid five -- which is a sum greater than two -- years. In your hand. Right now. Seriously. You don't have to take my word for it. Look down in your hand.

Whatever. Of course Alberta's records were going to confirm I was licensed longer than two years, so why continue this conversation.

She ended the application surprisingly helpfully, though. When she was done with me, she asked if I had to go the Health counter. I said no, why, do I look sick? (no, she did not laugh). But she suggested that while I was at Service Ontario, I may wish to apply for a health care card. So I did. (I had thought I couldn't apply for three months -- turns out I could apply anytime, I just won't get it before being here three months)

An hour waiting to get an Ontario license, and half an hour to get an Ontario health card. Not too bad. It was deceptively simple to drape myself in official Ontarian (Ontarioan? Ontariotonian?) garb. Just like that. Fill out some forms. Surrender past documents. Go home and wait a few weeks for new documents. Soon I'll be hard to distinguish from long-time residents. I even gave a woman directions on the subway today. (I always was a quick study).

(And, yes, Mom, I applied for EI last week. The second time in my life ever applying for EI, despite the many months of being unemployed in the last, oh, ten years. Heck, the last five years have been so dotted with unemployment I think I am now almost forgetting how to work. Don't worry Dad. Only almost. Being in J. Layton's riding hasn't rubbed off on me that much. Yet. ha ha haa.)

And on the way home, I was drawn into a very cool looking accessory shop, where the most awesome of phenomenal necklaces was reeling me in:

Before you say anything, it is not real. But good golly it looks like it is, and I just positively wholly and irrevocably fell in love. $27.13 later, and it was mine. At that price, I expect it will disintegrate in the first good breeze that wafts over it. But until then, I'll enjoy it. (man, I love even just looking at it here on my page!)

That's my I Can Soon Prove I'm A Resident of Ontario, So All Look At Me Now necklace.

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