Who can’t love Canadians?

In terms of blogging, there is of course THIS Canadian: Redneck Princess

I was thinking more generally in this case. I’ve realized they’re all nice. They know what a fast lane is on a freeway, what indicators are for on a car, and how important it is that a grocery store carry a good range of chocolates. Don’t worry my dear American friends, this is the last of these confusing concepts about driving. πŸ™‚

As I’ve mentioned before, the U.S. Government is one of the more useless entities on the planet and took their blessed time about awarding my family Green Cards. I was dumb enough not to walk over the boarder, but to actually try and follow the laws and things. I was also dumb enough to get involved with a law firm called Levine & Associates, with Samuel J. Levine being an especially useless immigration lawyer based on my extensive experience of working with this prick. And, yes, I regret that I have not enabled my blog for Google searches so other people can learn how much stress he caused in my life by messing up my processing TWICE thanks to legal errors on the part of his staff and himself. Sue me, buddy, the truth is always an absolute defense against a libel claim. (I have a friend who is a senior partner at a Washington law firm who is certain that I can make two separate claims against this lawyer and I intended to follow up when I have some time.)

I digress.

Thanks to delays with Green Card processing and inaccurate advice from my useless immigration lawyer, back in late 2008 I was no longer certain I would get through the process on the third attempt. I had no plans to try for a fourth time. I was already annoyed and was going to leave the USA.

So, being me, I started considering myriad other options.

After some difficult family discussions, the tentative decision was to consider Canada as the backup plan. By a lucky chance, in mid-2010 AmΓ©lie was scheduled to finish high school, Brigitte was scheduled to finish middle school, and Charlotte was scheduled to finish elementary school. If we had to move, that was the time. So again, being me, I started planning ahead for this scenario.

We had already visited Toronto and Montreal and Ottawa. As Canada only has about 9,245 people in it, the only other big city left unscarred by a family visit was Vancouver (City motto: After a few years, you don’t notice the rain). And off I went, using some Air Miles. Later, to renew the E-3 U.S. work Visa, off we all went. Vancouver is a stunning city by any standard and has much milder weather than the other big cities (average population: 2,178).

Based on my difficult experience of moving to Dallas for almost two years in 1997, I realized that having an established credit rating and bank account would make the process smoother, increase my chances of being able to take out a mortgage on a house, etc.

In Vancouver, with the guidance of a realtor, I opened a post office box. Then I used that to open a bank account. Later, I opened a Canadian credit card account. We’re not talking money laundering here, just establishing a footprint. I still run some small transaction volumes through these to keep them active, but nothing significant.

I also applied and was accepted for permanent immigration to Canada. This happened in the time it took the U.S. Government to say, “Huh? What?” and to this day, I have been granted some extensions and my application is pending me filing some final paperwork. In short, my backup plan is still alive although I’m far less likely to use it now.

Since I started this planning, my life has only been smooth for a few months (June-August 2010…I kid you not) and so I have not relinquished anything. The hardest part has been renewing the post office box since they much prefer me to physically visit and sign stuff. For two successive years, they’ve let me do this remotely.

Canadians are so helpful and nice, this has been fairly easy. They have helped me work around my lack of a physical address. They have helped me extend my immigration application and my post office box. And they topped it all this week.

The lady who told me how much money to send from here to renew my box got it wrong. She forgot to add the local tax. So my check (cheque) was CAD $9.50 short. When I called back a few days ago, the manager apologized for the error and asked how I wanted to handle it since I was out of the country. I said I would send a second check for the balance. She felt bad they had screwed up and said she would pay right now on my behalf out of her own pocket if I would put a check in the mail to her when I had a chance. I can’t imagine someone in a USA post office doing that for me.

Awwww — how trusting, how kind! Who can’t love Canadians?

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About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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19 Responses to Who can’t love Canadians?

  1. We are pretty freaking amazing…you should move to Vancouver…just saying πŸ™‚ I live on the Island, it is amazing here too, there are so many great place to visit within close distance…good luck with the bureaucratic bullshit…and thank you very much for the Canadian shoutout!!! xox

    • Hi RNP, the exchange rate shift over the last few years and the relative change in house prices make Vancouver a difficult option for a single guy with 3 daughters. I’m going to need to steal or inherit money to make that even slightly possible. And my parents are too healthy!

  2. Amazing that there can be such a big difference between two neighboring countries! But I still think you should consider Europe again πŸ™‚

    • The language barrier for Europe, without a bilingual partner, is a high one except for Ireland and the UK. And house prices in the UK are still very high. It gets back to the steal or inherit options…*sigh*

      Wait, that’s only half true, there are some countries in Europe where English is widely spoken.

  3. TikkTok says:

    I’d go in a heartbeat, if I could ever get the other half to agree to something that far north…. *sigh*

  4. Surrey gal says:

    Seriously?? That’s incredible, I never heard of anything like this before! Nowewhere in the world. Thumbs up for Canadians then!

  5. Glad you had a nice experience. I lived in Ontario for almost a year and really never want to go back. We moved to the DC area 9 years ago and we both love it!

  6. I was born and raised in the DC area and have lived many places, both in and out of this country. America is misrepresented by its big cities, particularly those along the coasts. One of the reasons I moved to Colorado was based on exactly the same experiences you have had with the Canadians. Judging America by it’s big cities is a lot like people who visit London and form entire opinions about the U.K. πŸ™‚

    • Hi TPG,

      I hope you liked your time in the DC area. It’s one of the better metro areas in the country in my opinion. Well, it is if you live in Virginia. Those pesky Maryland folk (present company excluded, for QoZ’s benefit!) are just hangers-on, of course. πŸ™‚

      I’ve been to Denver a number of times (not sure exactly where you are in Colorado, but Denver is my point of reference). I liked the low humidity and the warm but not searing summer weather. I could definitely handle Denver winters. What I didn’t get to experience at all were the people because I’ve only passed through on vacations. My reading of the political maps around the big elections is that Denver is in a fairly balanced state, not so much ‘Cow Town’ as ‘Reasonable Town’? In any case, you’re right, the USA is made of a very diverse population with quite distinct cultures in different parts of the country.

  7. Emjayandthem says:

    I’m Canadian born & raised (and hold American citizenship now) and would like to suggest a prairie city. If you can get past the cold, Saskatchewan is the sunniest spot in Canada. “The Land of Living skies” is filled with warm, friendly and helpful people. Cheers! MJ

    • Hi MJ,
      My limited understanding of Saskatchakewatchakatchewan is: Not only is the province the hardest to pronounce/spell — πŸ™‚ — but the snow hangs on and on and on! When I was in Vancouver last year, I was waiting the shuttle bus to the rental car place and chatting with some men from Saskatchewan. They were marveling at the spring weather and said the snow back home was still a foot deep. So, perhaps Saskatchewan has sunny weather, but the sun is feeble? Nevertheless, I am sure you’re right about the people!

  8. As a Canadian living in the US, I thank you for the shoutout to my homeland! This is the fourth country I’ve lived in and by the far, the most difficult to adjust to. Not sure if it’s all because of living in the Northern VA region but there are definitely some serious differences between the culture of both countries.

    Vancouver is a great place to live but you’re right, the housing market is insane!!!! How about Victoria? Also another great place to live!

    I may be looking for citizenship at some point in the future…any advice? Other than avoiding Levine like the plague!!!

    • Hi there!

      Re: the Canadian shout-out: you’re welcome.

      Funny thing is, I am in Victoria right now. But probably not the one you are thinking of (north-east of Vancouver), the state in Australia.

      If you’ve already done the Green Card thing and you’re on the path to citizenship, there are no more roadblocks. Maybe the only thing to remember is that the quiz you have to do to get your citizenship…well once you’ve passed it, you’ll know more about the USA than most Americans. πŸ™‚ When they updated it a few years ago at work, everyone in the office did it. Most of the people born in the USA flunked it. Oops.

  9. I’m Canadian and I agree! Of course I’m biased πŸ˜‰

    Prairies have the longest sunsets and the brightest blue skies all year long but brutal winters!! Vancouver is a great city and the Island is gorgeous. I also would never live west of Saskatchewan. The East can keep Ontario but the Maritimes and Quebeq are great to visit!

    Or, you can buy a cheaper home in the states and sve your money…as long as you have money to save. Either way…Canada is always here waiting patiently because we are nice like that πŸ˜‰

    • Yes, I’ve noticed that the winters are little ‘nippy’ πŸ™‚ When it goes negative and the measurement is in Fahrenheit, we know it’s ‘quite’ cold!

      Interesting you mention the blue skies. The Denver area — also east of the Rockies — also has a lot of sunny days and stunning blue skies.

      I like your finish…that Canadians are nice enough to wait for me (and my girls)…awww!

  10. zolemia says:

    As I was reading about the difficulty in pronouncing Saskatchewan, I was killing myself laughing. When you are giving your address to someone in the US and you live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan…it is hilarious to hear them try to repeat it, some do not even try. It is quite the tongue twister for some. I will add, the skies are endless, sunsets long, sunrises beautiful and it can be darn COLD!!

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