Arrival in a New Country


Eager for Adventure

I’m now living my new life in another country.  The basic set up of a new life in Ontario, Canada requires patience and grim determination.  Stamina as well.

A few days have passed since the hellish date of departure, and fortunately, that’s now  past. I’d sprung for Business Class on Air Canada because my friend, celebrated author, Judith Cassis, and my two beloved cats traveled with me. Still, it was a long, tense day.

We stumbled off the plane into the arms of my cousins who whisked us to see my new digs: a two-bedroom, two-story townhouse surrounded by greenery and a few minutes’ walk to the Ottawa River. I now live in the west end of the city of Ottawa,  for those of you in the know.

Basic Life

Basic life nowadays – for me at least – means a bank account and available money, phone, internet, and transportation. All of those basics, I discover, are based on your being able to prove your identity. Honestly, I’m not trying to fund a Canadian Jihad in opening a bank account.

I have a Canadian and American passport, a California picture-ID driver’s license, several American credit cards, and a spotless credit record. In Canada, and perhaps many places in the world, they demand two government-issued forms of ID. I butted my head against the brick wall to no avail. No phone, TV, or internet.

Fortunately, my cousins are my new landlords so my living space came easily at least. I am so grateful to them for supporting me during this very long week of grappling with bureaucracy.

New Situations

New situations, new problems, no solutions are very tiring. Many naps to regroup and get my attitude right. It does no good to scream at bureaucrats.

Judith and I head to Quebec City for the weekend since there’s nothing I can do until next week. This afternoon we will take Via Rail across Ontario into the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec. The old City of Quebec sits on the mighty St. Lawrence River

Quebec City

and features historic stone buildings, and narrow streets lined with boutiques and bistros. It has a distinctly Parisian feeling. The Chateau Frontenac and Citadelle of Quebec form the ramparts that loom over the city.

My friend Kathy Weinstein says it as close to France as you can get in North America.

I miss Kathy already. I miss all my old friends, but I had a photo of Kathy handy.

Me and Kathy


Me, the Writer

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12 Responses to Arrival in a New Country

  1. Duke Montague says:

    Hi Mar,

    Hope you are doing awesome!

    Where in Ontario are you? Not to far from Pittsburgh??


  2. Gil McElroy says:

    Welcome back

  3. Susan de Gaia says:

    I stayed at Chateau Frontenac once long ago. My visit there was during winter. Enjoy, you and Judith ❤️

    May your basics get turned on soon!

    • Mar Preston says:

      That is one fancy hotel that is visible from miles afar. We took an excursion boat out into the St. Lawrence River. It’s easy to see where Quebec City is the narrowest point in the river. From that promontory, they could see the British coming. What took you to Quebec City long ago?

      I’m hoping a birth certificate is somewhere on the moving van, which I connect with in a couple of days.

  4. Jac Roper says:

    You got there in one piece…and the friend and the cats. That’s the main thing. Bureaucracy is everywhere. Nil carborundum and all that. You’ll get there. xx

    • Mar Preston says:

      Remember 1967 when we went to Canada’s 100th in Montreal? Traveling with money is a helluva lot easier. I remember counting quarters.

      Not like standing on the station platform in Timmins.

  5. Annis says:

    All will be well. Take care of YOU. Hugs, xoA

  6. Oh Mar! I miss you already! Hope to see you at PSWA next year! I’m using your book on editing your mystery (I bought it on a thumb drive last year in Vegas) on a panel about perfecting your manuscript. Your tips are so helpful.

    • M.Preston says:

      Ah, Thonie. Thanks so much for your kind words. In the process of moving to a new country and setting up a new life, I’ve lost track of myself as a writer. You remind me. I really, really wish I were getting ready to go to PSWA. Next year. I follow your books and career with great interest. I wish I had your energy. Maybe later. I’m embarrassed to say how tired I am.

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