Friday, June 30, 2006

Coasting . . . and Bordering.

I have perennially suffered from what I term "bad travel karma." When my father travels, he is routinely bumped up to first class, and given a free ticket for the trouble of having to move his carry-on bag. As for me, if there is a flight that sits on the runway for hours, without refreshments or air conditioning, I am on it, and in the middle seat, with a hyperactive toddler. The one flight canceled? That was my reservation. Luggage lost? I can fill out those forms with my eyes closed, and wonder to this day where my knickers have traveled. You could attribute my poor track record to flying in and out of O'Hare, as I have for the past twelve years -- but, truth is, I had been jetlagged and waylaid for years before I moved to Chicago.

Unfortunately my bad karma is currently preceding me as we prepare to move to Kingston, Ontario (to take up the most enviable academic appointment a freshly minted PhD could hope for). When I went for my interview, in late January, I had to dial only the seven digit phone number, without -1- and an area code, to call my interviewers (or simply next door). That's since changed. The cost of electricity has gone up so much in Canada in the past month, due to deregulation, that we are having to get gas lines directed to our house, and to rebuild the interior to accommodate them. Setting up a bank account is trying, what with parts of the Patriot Act forbidding the transfer of funds that might signal a terrorist account. Finally, there was that al-Qaeda plot discovered in Ontario recently, which I've been in denial about -- except for the part about it being foiled. Thank you, Canadian Mounties; Dudley Done Right.

But while I have been coasting this week on Jose's popularity and not been concerned with refreshing the blog, I have learned something news- (or blog-) worthy: there is a commercial embargo on moving to Canada in the month of July. That is, so many moving trucks are traveling up to Canada, and none coming down, that moving companies have had to impose a substantial financial penalty on those who insist on moving to Canada during the month of July; and some refuse to move anything northerly at all. Being skint, as we are, having not sold our house here, we are thus planning to move the first week of August.

I have to wonder whether our President been supplied this information, in his famous (or infamous) daily briefings. Debates over U.S. immigration have focused predominantly on who enters, or who has already entered, from the U.S. border to the south. Meanwhile, like an upwardly mobile, nationwide game of "there were ten on the bed, and the little one said, roll over, roll over," U.S. residents are spilling over the northern border into Canada, in droves. An accurate picture of U.S. immigration would have to take this development into account.

Meanwhile, if our truck manages to cross without further karmic retribution (for what? I'm not sure yet), I reckon I'll see many of you there soon -- our number is 1, 613, . . .

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