In the land of poppies

When I was in early grade school, I remember the sprouting of paper poppies on lapels for Veteran’s Day. Because of my then-youth, and the number of years that have passed since, I am not certain what the protocol then was but I have a sense that the poppies were worn by Vets and perhaps Vets’ spouses.

Over the intervening years, a lot of folks became Veterans, of course, but the paper poppy faded at least from the various landscapes I saw in the US.

With November 11 a week away, I discover that here an entire Veterans Week is being celebrated and there are little poppies on folks of all ages and rank. I even saw a baby buggy decorated with one. Paper is no longer the material of which these sprigs are fashioned, of course: they seem to be a kind of coated or flocked plastic with a black button in the middle, although I’ve seen some fuzzier versions as well. Of course, this forces me to place researching the Canadian Armed Services on my to-do list….

After a morning meeting, I took off to get my apartment keys and try to attend to some housekeeping matters. The storm did do some minor damage in my new neighborhood, but the tree that took out the window in my building hit the floor right below mine so no glass to clean up before moving in!

An ad in the local free paper targeting “world Canadians” helped me choose a bank. However, I can’t get an account until Wednesday because new accounts are by appointment only. Signing up for that reminded me very much of the usual route I’ve experienced when going to a new dentist: some minor intake info and then an appointment made to come back for the real deal.

So, on to getting telephone service and a cell that will work here. Compared to the 16 minutes I spent with Immigration, the phone company’s needs for info and data tracing are enormous: it was 95 minutes from start to the point where I left the store, with the company still to switch on service, install wireless in the apartment, and provide me with a landline number–all of which are promised by Friday.

In the meantime, I do have a new cell–and a new best friend at the phone store.

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