It's hard to believe I'm getting close to the end of the 'list'.
We've been here for two weeks and have achieved a stupid amount of stuff. It really helps that we've lived here before, the familiarity makes us move faster. Not quite so intimidating. Hell, I even find the driving a no-brainer now!
So, one of our lists was of a bureaucratic nature. Lots of that ol' red tape.
The first stop was to Services Canada upon arrival at the airport for our actual visa. I think it took us three hours from departing the plane to arriving at our hotel.
Next, we had to visit Services Ontario to get our SIN (ID card) numbers sorted. Then we had to go back there once we had our lease to sort our health care cards and get our license addresses changed. We're still eternally grateful we made it back to Toronto before our drivers licenses expired. Much more simple!
All of these places are the usual take-a-ticket-and-wait type of offices. Surprisingly the staff are all very friendly and patient, unlike their Australian counterparts. If you want grumpy service you need to visit Walmart or Ikea. Possibly the Services Ontario employees are on a better wage than those in the retail sector.
Reading that back, it sounds pretty simple and quick. It was, I guess, but at the time it felt stressful just finding the offices and working out where to park etc.
After we bought the car we had to visit Services Ontario again to change the address on the registration forms. And on Friday we have to take all the documents with our address on them to the school to register Poppet for her start.
So, parallel to the red-tape list was the living in Toronto list. The finding-somewhere-to-live-near-a-good-school list, oh and we'll need a car too!
Yay for the internet! We found our apartment whilst still in Oz, and it turned out to be just as nice as we'd hoped. Our building is this one, pretty.
It's referred to as a triplex, we live on the top two floors (no need for the stair-master at the gym) and our landlords (two brothers) are on the ground floor. There's also a basement apartment. Being on the top means we are not officially responsible for snow removal (sure we'll have the shovel out anyway) and the 'boys' are setting up all the utilities and cable and internet and we're just paying them a flat rate. Simple.
I have to say, I'm glad one of them is a software developer as I'm sick of the slow internet at the hotel. Loading photos to the blog is fairly excruciating!
We have a great strip/village to walk to and school is only a couple of blocks. Good thing as we won't have the car during the week! Oh yeah, husband went out and just bought a car. We had driven the Nissan Versa hatch before in Canada and really liked it, so he just did it. Sooo grateful that I didn't have to join him on that trip.
Anyway, back to the lists.
We have a specific budget for our relocation, and after buying the car (ouch) we have decided to stick to Ikea for furnishing. Why wouldn't you? The prices are amazing. We're looking at $500 for the sofa we like. (I just spent that on a decent saucepan set - though it is a 12-piece set so not bad value, well that's how I'm justifying it)
So, we had a look around Ikea on the weekend to make our choices and will go back on Friday to purchase. They always deliver next day which fits in with our getting the keys on Saturday. Yay.
My brain is full of furniture and colours and rugs and such. If it were up to my brain I would probably move house with a tv and a litre of milk. Which is why I make lists.
A few years ago, when we moved to Brazil, I sat down and wrote a list of all the things I would need to purchase to make life easier. I'm not sure that I ever found a potato peeler in Brazil, there were plenty of things just unavailable over there. But I kept the list in my filofax and have used it so many times since.
Here it is...
So, when I'm dragging Poppet around at Walmart or the mall I have a specific list in mind and can be fairly quick about it. And boy, have we had to drag our sorry selves around. A lot more than we would like to. Don't get me wrong, the shopping here is great and I will never complain about a trip to Gap or Pottery barn, but I would prefer not to do it ALL in one week! I'm very mindful of the fact that I won't have the car after the weekend, except in the evenings, so have made an effort to get the lot now. And whatever I've forgotten I can order online and get it delivered later. Double yay for the internet!
Our poor tiny hotel room is bursting with household goods, they are shoved into every available space.
The only thing left to buy is the 'garbage can' which I couldn't fit in the 'shopping cart' last night when I bought the iron, ironing board, vacuum, kettle, baking trays and coat hangers. We'll go out and get that tomorrow. For today we'll just stay in the hotel, go for a swim and crash.
Oh, and I'll work towards labeling all of Poppets clothes ready for school on Monday.
Now, which suitcase did I put her name labels in.....?