It was a long but very productive day today. I put together a To-do list for the day- I had to go get my drive test done; I had to open a bank account here locally and I had to purchase a local Canadian number and brand new phone if possible.
I kicked off with the drive-test. My hosts- husband and wife couple have been very kind to me up until now. They have driven me around the area and allowed me use their house address for all my applications. The wife host- Z, drove with me to the drive test venue and the process was so straightforward, I couldn’t help comparing with the Nigerian Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). On the spot, I took a passport photograph, did my eye test, paid CAD158 (45,820 Naira) for the license and was even going to do my knowledge test until I insisted I had to come back to get the knowledge test done. As this is yankee, you can’t bamboozle your way through the driving knowledge test or automatically guess what the road signs and signals mean. My bobo and I tried to guess using their online test, and let’s just say it was a good thing I decided to go and come back to take the test. Thankfully, Canadians drive on the same side as in Nigeria. I’m going to go back in a few days after I have adequately prepared to ace the test one time. If you fail the knowledge test, you have to shell out 57 bucks (notice how I am already using North America speak ?) to redo it.
Then after the drive test place, we went to the bank to open a new bank account, where I could pay in all the cash I had been carrying around. It was there I met this funny (think negative connotation, not positive) Asian guy who sounded a lot like he was from China. He was the bank advisor walking me through the process of opening the account. Omo, the way this guy initially drilled me ehn. He said the documents I travelled into Canada with though scheduled to expire May 1st was not relevant for the bank process. I spent 3 minutes explaining to this dude that the May 1st date was an ‘enter-into-Canada on/before-date’ and since I had already entered before May I was good. Dude then asked me why I came to Canada, where I came from, why I left my job in Nigeria, why I came alone? Me now as a newbie, I politely answered all the questions. It wasn’t until he went out with my documentation and came back 5 minutes later, before he now became more congenial, helping me with the bank registration process. When I recounted the story to Z, my host, she was so irritated and was explaining that this guy was rude to me… Lol… And I genuinely thought he wanted to make a friend… Lol. She explained how I should have politely retorted, asking him why he needed all that information from me and that that would have made him mind his business.
It’s for reasons like this, that the idea of this blog was born. Canada is a complete greenfield for me and there will be many things done to and for me that I may interpret incorrectly. Writing about it is hoping to share my view of the situation, hopefully, laugh about it at a later date and maybe help the next unaware person. The ironic thing was that this Asian dude wasn’t born in this country. He came here in 1998 still had a strong ass Chinese accent that made it so difficult for me to understand him, yet he was questioning me like he worked in Border services and had a clear Canadian accent.
Thankfully, my trip to the store to get a phone line was not as eventful as the bank visit. I still had to pay an additional deposit of CAD150 for my brand phone, which is a Samsung 8 (insert cheering and confetti) because I have not been resident in Ontario for up to a month. So while residents who have been here longer than a month pay nothing for the phone, and are put on a 2-year pay-back plan, yours truly had to shell out some money upfront as a guarantee.
Anyway, we move! I’m heading to downtown Toronto tomorrow, all by myself and for the 1st time ever. Let’s see what the day brings.