And I’m sorry. It’s been just a tad on the chaotic side of the spectrum here in our new home.
You’d think I knew this by now, considering our recent history, but I’ve just realised that people have a distorted view of immigration. Many of the people we’ve spoken to recently picture the whole thing as a glamorous spread in a magazine. As if all of it is having fun and sightseeing. Meanwhile, we’ve done barely any sightseeing at all (as in twice. We went out to see sights twice).
Immigration doesn’t equate to a lovely holiday. I’m about to blow your mind, but it’s not the same as a vacation at all. When on holiday, you want to go out and explore every day, to make the most of your time, right? You live off of takeaways and try all kinds of yummy foods. You lounge around the pool or beach and relax. That kind of thing.
When you’ve just moved to a new country, you’ve moved. Moving is a stressful thing, even when it’s just down the road.
There’s no holiday fewer. The wanderlust is there, but it’s waaaay down the list of things on your mind. The subject of the day – every day – is settling. Believe me, this is about as unglamorous as it comes.
For the first month or two of your move, you’ll be in many queues as long as a Star Wars marathon. You’ll fill in form after form, many of which will be added to the envelope of documents with which you’ll start travelling. And you’ll be travelling a lot, just not to look at the pretty things in New Home.
Settling in a new country means grey government buildings to apply for various things you can’t build a life without, like social security numbers, medical insurance, having your driver’s permit exchanged to the one they use in New Home, or having to go for the driving test again (like in my case. Yay). It means hours in banks or mobile stores to open bank accounts and have your new sim card activated. Your kids will have to go to school, so settling means finding a good school and enrolling your spawn. After that, it means finding a home, which comes with its own challenges, foremost of which is your lack of a credit score.
Yes, moving to a new country means the credit record you’ve built up so carefully throughout your adulting years is now gone. As is your no-claim streak with your insurance company (depending on the country you move to) so, congratulations, your new insurance will probably come at the cost of your grandmother and all ten of her cats.
When you’ve done all of the above, you’ll furnish the place you’re moving to (if you didn’t ship your belongings from Old Home). Buying stuff to fill spaces is fun, but it’s also kind of stressful. Or maybe that’s just anxious Yolandie’s opinion. You’ll also probably buy a car. Remember the credit and insurance-things I mentioned? Yeah, those come into play here too.
Meanwhile, you’re also trying to figure out how the public transport works, which shops you prefer when it comes to grocery shopping and which brands you like. Shit, it’s cold! You need a warmer jacket and how does the heating even work? Why are these people driving so strangely, what the hell is a loony and please explain this poutine thing?
So this is why I haven’t been blogging. We haven’t even completed all of the things listed above, though we’re getting there.
By grace and miracles, we crossed paths with an amazing realtor who was willing to help us find a house to rent. We were worried for a minute there that it would turn out to be as difficult as it had been in Germany, since three other realtors told us nobody would rent their places to us due to our lack of a credit score. Then Wonderwoman came along and managed to help us find a house in two days. We’re moving on Wednesday.
We’re figuring out the rest as we go. I’m happy to report that I still think moving to Canada is much easier than moving to Germany, and even the government processes are usually accompanied by many smiling faces. The first month is almost over, but I still get a thrill every time I see a brand I used to know in South Africa, or when I’m able to read the back of the shampoo bottle and actually understand what I’m reading. Add the fact that most people are super friendly and Canada already feels more like home than Germany ever did.
Normal is hopefully just around the corner for us, which means the blog will follow a schedule again too. Thank you for the patience and understanding. It’s been one heck of a ride and I love having you along.
By the way, by popular opinion, these posts concerning our new home will be called Maple Mondays. Thanks to everyone who voted for the name. <3
Have a good one,