SIN and no connection

My only internet access continues to be coffee shops and tonight that isn’t working because some wise acre has jammed the works to show off his hacking skills. Otherwise, it’s been a productive day: got SIN, got bank account, got a heartfelt declaration of pride in her local library branch from a store clerk.

The Canadian government office where I was sent to get the Social Insurance Number provides a range of services would cross US Social Security and a local employment agency. A large sign announced that no wait would be longer than 20 minutes and indeed, in spite of it being a lunch hour, I was seen in 15 and finished—SIN in hand—in less than 10 more.

I asked the representative who walked me through the process and stamped my temporary proof of existence if there was literature I should be seeing on other government protocols I need to address. “Probably,” she said. “You work at a library so you’re in a good position to find out what they are.” She wasn’t speaking brusquely; I think she thought she was being funny.

Like the phone company, the bank was more complicated and time consuming, but, again, the service was excellent, friendly, and on a human scale. The new accounts person with whom I had an appointment didn’t even bat an eye at the fact that I’d showed up (promptly) bearing 20 clothes hangers (in a too-small bag).

Last evening, I tried to follow up on a tip from a coworker that I could purchase hangers at the local Atlantic Superstore (one of the competing big grocery chains). That turned out not to be the case at my local outlet of same but the clerk at the attached dry cleaner had given me directions to a shop that happened to be in the same complex as the bank. So, hangers, as well as bank account, obtained: check.

Later, I ran into a clerk at another store who asked me where I work and, upon hearing, waxed authentically and touchingly eloquent about the “wonderful library that is the heart of Gottingen Street” (That would be Halifax North Branch). She so clearly adored the place that I was almost moved to tears.

Twila continues to work on completing my apartment’s status as “fully furnished.” (Twila is the sweet young thing who worked through the papers with me in the rental office, back in September, and then announced that we should celebrate with pizza. Only she ordered poutine instead so I had my first up close vision of that local “delicacy.”) Last night, I came home to discover that my new shower curtain is a bright and scary purple. Well, it does wake one up in the morning.

She’s also placed several arrangements of artificial flowers around the place “so you feel like it’s your home” (My home decorated with artificial flowers? What a concept!). In the bedroom, it’s a very large arrangement, a kind of waterfall of pink and blue “blossoms” spilling forth atop the hutch. In the living room, atop the curious triangular glass topped table (a table top large enough to hold a singular cup of coffee—without a saucer), she’s perched a kind of large blue plastic Easter egg, encased in a clear box, and two tiny baskets with more artificial buds. It’s so….wow.


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One Response to “SIN and no connection”

  1. Dawn Says:

    I’ve always wanted to try poutine.

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