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20 september 2005

Efficient government

What if you need your permanent resident card a bit quicker then normal...

Well, then you send a "hurry-up" request to the Immigration service!

Something like that at least.. At the 21st of July we became landed immigrants. The immigration officer mentioned that the Permanent Resident card would take 6 to 8 weeks to be delivered to our address.

This Sunday I will travel the Philidelphia (USA) for Seaspan to attend a user conference of a piece of software that we use.
Unfortunately my PR card has not arrived yet, and without it I won't be allowed back into the country! On Monday Ge-an called the immigration service for me and they told her that processing time is up to 16 weeks! Oooops.. Apparently they are re-issueing card to all Permanent Residents because it needs to contain a photo (thanks to our neighbours).

Fortunately the website also describes an appeal procedure if the listed processing time has passed. The website was not updated yet to reflects the 16 weeks, so good grounds for an appeal..

Seaspan wrote a nice letter that they really need me to travel, also included an Eticket to show that there really is a journey planned and some other documents. Dumped it all on the fax and waited for an answer. They promise to reply within two business days.. It took them only a few hours.. Unfortunately they told me that it was not possible to process my application urgently :(

Today I phoned them to check what other options were available. After checking my file the lady on the phone had good news: they did process my PR card after my request and it was mailed to me today..

Wowww.. Still not entirely without error, but for a government agency not bad at all.

A Chinese colleague at DVB that shared the room with me spent several hours every month on the phone to get his Dutch permanent resident card. By the time I left it was a year after his landing.. The IND should have a look at their Canadian colleagues!

Today our first visitors returned to Germany.. It was fun having them around. Our next visitor is Ge-an's brother..

Bas

Posted by Brijn at 10:01 pm | Comments (0)

11 september 2005

Finally !!

Our stuff arrived last friday....

We have been called minimalists by our neighbours in the past month. We arrived in Canada with nothing more than our clothing and our camping gear. We did get some initial furniture from our neighbours, 2 tables, 3 chairs, a television and a big foamy to us as bed, but that was it. We have been camping in our house and it was allright. It appears we don't need that many thing to be able to live quit nicely....

So now all of a sudden we have back or stuff. Some of the thing we did not remember packing... Oh did we really bring that? What a waste of space..... Have we indeed become minimalists? Does Robin need that many toys? He was happy with the stick and pineapples the garden here so abundantly provides. Do we really need all those plates? We had guest over before our things arrived and allready got a new set Ikea plates. much cheaper than shipping our plates. We shipped 1/4 of our DVD bt don't have a DVD player anymore. Will we need a new one? (Yes!, but that is just Bas adding something to Ge-an's text ;)

Well yes, there are some non essential things we would like to own again some day. But for now we (and especially Bas) would be very happy if all the computers had been working properly. The way I (Ge-an) sees it, Bas has a nice new computer project to work on at home. What makes it even better is that out living and our study are once again 1 room. The combined living-study-play-dining room! Now that is an extreme makeover.

Oh and for me, I just like having some books again :-), 1/10 of the original volume of books we had... We can live with a lot less than what we had in Rotterdam, as long as we have a library within 500 meters (we do) and a library pass......

Posted by Brijn at 10:14 pm | Comments (1)

05 september 2005

Something new ...

Well, the weather changed last week.

For the first time since we have been here we had rain. It was misty, rainy but luckely not really cold. Coincidently we also had our fist visitors.... or maybe it wasn't a coincidence?

And to all dutch people reading this, the germans won the race to Canada ;-). Bas' ex-collegue Bjorn with wife and 3 months old baby came over for a three week holiday. They stayed here for a couple of days, and this weekend we met with them in Whistler. Since all the tent sites were taken (unbelievable in this rain) we put our tent up at their RV lot. Strangly we were not allowed to use the grass and thus slept on the pavement.....oefff)

Today is Labor day in BC, which means Bas has a day off and we could enjoy a long weekend. We had hoped to do some hiking in Whistler, but as said the weather did not help. So in the end we only went hiking to Whistler village were we enjoyed a very good meal. The next day, we did a short hike to the Nairn falls before returning home.

Today, we thought we could escape the bad weather by going shopping in Ikea... (oh no not again that Ikea, YES!!) So far we have slept on either our camping matresses or a thin foam matress borrowed from our neighbours. Time for a real bed... Alas we were not the only ones at Ikea. It seems to be no different from the Netherlands in that matter. Whenever the weather is going to be bad, and there is a bank holiday, go funiture shopping!

In the afternoon it turned out the weather was not as bad as was predicted. Good enough for a nice hike in Lynn Valley. Short but nice. And Robin could run around, which is what he likes best, and throw with a little ball.

Our bed will be delived Thursday, we hope that our furniture (on it's way now for almost two months) will also arrive this week (hopefully wednesday).. Our empty house will be suddenly full then ;-))

Posted by Brijn at 09:09 pm | Comments (1)