equally exciting things, it buys you two Canadian government medical examinations. As part of our permanent residency application, we are required to complete said exam.
When I called to schedule the appointment, I was told to bring 4 passport-sized photographs and cash. I was also told it would take 45 minutes. Hmm, I thought, They must be pretty efficient. Well, we’ll come back to that.
This morning, armed with paperwork, passports and travel mugs of tea, Varun and I settled down in the waiting room. After half an hour, we were called to the Nurse’s office.
Nurse: Please give me your name, Amelia.
Me: ¿Um. Amelia–
Varun: (Whispers) Spell it!
Me: Oh! You want me to spell it?
Nurse: No, I have it. (Stern glance).
Nurse: Passport photos.
(I slide them over)
Nurse: You only need two.
Me: Oh. But I called yesterday to confirm and–
Nurse: And they told you four.
Me: Yes, and-
Nurse: Are you being sponsored?
Nurse: Well. If you were sponsored, you’d need five.
Me: Right. Well. Can we get reimbursed because–
Nurse: You need two. Sit down.
After this delightful and perplexing exchange, we did our eye exams. I won’t mention any names (cough. Varun. cough), but it looks like someone might need eyeglasses in the near future. Apparently, his last visit was in grade 10 and he can’t differentiate between O, G and Q from ten feet away with one eye closed. (Don’t even ask if I can. Hint: I can’t). Also, I apparently have the body of a 54 year old as I require reading glasses and have acid reflux. Huzzah.
Next, we got our blood taken (*spoiler alert: this involves needles!*). As the nurse pulled the needle from Varun’s arm, he winced in pain. She looked at him the way you’d look at a polar bear too afraid to jump in the Arctic sea. Disdain and disappointment. Next up, I vowed to be brave. She asked me twice if I wanted to lie down. Do I look weak?! Well, let me tell you, I think that needle was as thick as a Bic ball point pen. OW.
Pee in a cup, check.
After waiting for 45 minutes, we finally got called in to see the Doctor. He had a quirky sense of humor and kept us wondering what was irony and what wasn’t.
He asked Varun to stand on one leg and do squats. I watched in sheer amazement as Varun did it–three times. (Go try it, all the way to the ground!) He congratulated Varun at being the best to do it all day. My competitive nature flaring, I eagerly waited my turn. “Good, but your husband did better”, he remarked after laughing and noting that “someone doesn’t do their yoga”. Oh the injustice. Does he know what I’m doing every morning at 8 am? Dumb bells and downward-dogs and lunges. Well. The good news is, I have better blood pressure and “better” veins for taking blood that Varun does. So there.
Apparently, $488 buys me a 2 hours of odd medical tests (touching my nose with my eyes closed), good-natured competition with Varun, and hopefully, one step closer to Canadian Permanent Residency!