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Learning to Be Canadian

Posted by on September 13, 2012

By Tuesday Morning, I had nearly given up all hope of ever receiving our permanent residency cards, the final proof that Varun and I are, in fact, Canadian Permanent Residents. After becoming PR’s in March, we were told it was a simple matter of waiting 6 weeks for the cards.

However, having not received them by mid-June, I was worried. I called the immigration office and was told, “Oh, they didn’t arrive? They probably got lost”. I tried to ascertain how the Officer could be so blasé  about the fact that two major identity cards were lost in the mail. I mean, how many times in your life has something been lost in the mail?! And two items in two separate envelopes to the same home?! The odds are just too high. I think they forgot to send them and didn’t want to admit it [Sorry any CIC officers reading this]. The Officer told me to sit tight and call back in July. As they still didn’t arrive by mid-July, we sent a letter officially declaring that our PR cards were never received. I was told they’d be cancelled and mailed again.
I spent August checking the mailbox and calling CIC, listening to hold music and memorizing the options en français. And then Tuesday…voila! We are literally card-carrying Canadians. BOOYAH!

(In case you didn’t think we have the capacity to be serious, these pictures should illustrate that we can be. And that Varun’s head is very, very flat on the top.)
Coincidentally, in class yesterday I got a bit of a PR orientation.  My professor, who is from California, was relating her experience of moving from the USA to Canada as an adult, and some of the cultural blunders she had made.

Professor:  Americans are generally direct, and sometimes that’s perceived as rude. In Canada, people are polite, so they don’t tell you when you’re being rude. They just go quiet.
Me: (Audible gasp) This is a revelation!

This explains SO. MUCH.

At this point, I figure I’m about 10% Canadian. The logic goes this way: my PR card is valid for 5 years (unless I become a citizen in that time, which I plan to). So assuming I live to about 85..that means I’m only a PR for 5 out of the next 59 years…so I’m only 11.8% Canadian. Which means I really only have to up my politesse by a few percentages to meet my quota of Canadian-ness. Huzzah!

8 Responses to Learning to Be Canadian

  1. Miranda

    Canadians don’t say Huzzah. I can tell you that bluntly because I’m only 21% Canadian.

    • Maggie

      I am Canadian, and my friend and I say “Huzzah” all the time. …. although we may have I stolen it from C. Montgomery Burns. :-)

  2. Team Oyeniyi

    Americans brag. Australians hate that Americans brag. Americans think Australians never achieve anything because we don’t brag.

    I worked for an American company and Cultural Intelligence was part of our training. The differences between the countries are amazing.

    Now, you see, tell your lecturer Australians believe Americans are very INdirect.

    Example follows.

    American: “Hand operated turf turning implement”
    Australian: “Spade”

  3. Beth (@bethaf)

    a. you did not know this Canadian cultural distinction yet?? I am not judging you for it, just surprised. Maybe you and I should have more cultural comparison conversations. :)

    b. is your prof my spiritual director? because she is from California and we had nearly the same conversation in our first meeting :)

    c. hang out. HANG OUT.

    • Amelia

      Apparently, trying to navigate Indian culture has distracted me from the vastness richness of Canadian culture. Edu-ma-cate me.

  4. eeleah

    CONGRATS!!! welcome to Earth.

Thoughts? I love hearing from you!