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 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 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
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.