Saturday, February 2, 2008

Un Mauvais Quarante-huit heures

Still recovering from a bit of a fright. Went to the border to get a work permit for the job I was offered (That no Canadian seemed to want), only to be turned down flat. Quite honestly the whole experience floored me for two whole days until we went back to our local immigration office who had previously given me clear instructions upon what to do.

Local immigration officer looked at the forms I had been handed back and screwed up her face in bewilderment. There was no reason that she could see for my application to be refused. She went back and forth, soliciting opinions, and checking her manual before packing us off with assurances that we were okay to stay while we appealed the border guards decision.

The really funny thing is that I was originally going to return to the UK in December, but hung on when the job offer came along. All the time filling in forms and ensuring everything we did was legal, decent, honest and truthful. Otherwise I'd be back in England bitching about the awful weather and keeping my eyes open for cheap flights to Vancouver.

As waiting for all the letters of confirmation etc has kept me in BC longer than anticipated, I've had to apply for 'leave to remain' as I've gone over my six months. If I go back to England now, I stand to lose the job offer, but have to wait while everyone else gets their act together to say whether I can stay and work or not. One office says I can take the job, the border guards say I can't. I wish they'd all sing off the same hymn sheet so everyone knew where they were. I want to do the right thing, but the way things are structured makes it very hard.

In the meantime I have taken to writing short stories while my thoughts are too jangled to focus on the bigger narrative. Came up with a little gem of an idea of an old chap who asks for a pound of pig's liver at an English supermarket, and ends up being arrested and charged with a 'hate crime'. An all too real scenario in our increasingly PC world.