Sunday, 12 February 2017

salutary moment

And we're back.

Updates.  I am still driving my aunt's car - badly. (Stalling, finding 6th gear instead of reverse, you know the kind of thing.)  But honks and eye rolls are better than torches and pitchforks, so it could be worse.

Kids are fine. Work is, well, work. (I'm travelling now, trying to cram teaching and editing and creativity into a series of air bnbs.) Love life is at the intersection of Risible and Complicated.  (A corner I know pretty well.)  What else is new? 

Apropos of car ownership, I had a great life lesson the other week. I haven't felt this proud to be Canadian in a long time.  (That's why the picture, if you were wondering.)

I was in line at Service Ontario.  Nothing to be proud of there. You know what it's like.

When I got to the head of the line, the clerk who was free held up a hand for me to wait. "Sorry, no English," he said. And gestured to the woman behind me. I stepped aside for her, and she and the guy proceeded in Cantonese or Mandarin (I guess).  I checked: was I the only Anglo in line? Maybe.  It took another few minutes for a clerk who spoke English to get free.

I've had to wait for a translator before, but I was always on another continent. This was a first inside my own country.  I wasn't angry.  Not even close.  A little startled, I confess, aware that the joke was on me.  We Canadians are proud of our (mostly) welcoming attitude to brave souls making a new life here.  Waiting for someone who speaks your language must be a near-universal immigrant experience.

I am glad to have had a small taste of it. 

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