Canada

Well the weather made the trip from Denver to Halifax somewhat exciting. Before even leaving for the airport it was obvious things might get interesting as my first flight was already showing a delay. By the time I’d arrived at the airport the delay was already long enough that I should have missed my connection but that flight was also delayed so I was off to Toronto… eventually. The flight was now scheduled to leave about 3 hours late and we did board at a time where we would have only been about 15 minutes after that. However we sat at the gate a bit, then got pushed to another gate as our gate was needed and we weren’t ready to leave before we finally started taxiing. But even then we weren’t done as we had to go and get de-iced so we were running even later.

My connection was meant to be about two and half hours and given the delay I thought sure I’d missed it but checking the monitors when I arrived in Toronto showed that that flight was also delayed and I had about 45 minutes to make the connection. Given that I had to go through immigration, pick up a work permit and go through security again I knew this was going to be tight! I was thankful that I’d already had my work permit application accepted as I’m sure that sped things up. I even managed to get the end date changed from my original, based on starting straight from Kansas, date to my new end date so that was a definite plus as it means I won’t have to pay $160 to apply for a new one if I stay the full length of my contract. Anyway after some running and rather more fast walking I just made it my connection. This leg I was flying business class, as it was the cheapest option when I was booking, and I was rather glad for the meal I got served… and the wine!

So I did make it to Halifax even if it was a couple of hours later than planned. I was pleased that I’d decided to get an airport hotel rather than try to get up to Wolfville that evening as I could just walk to the hotel and relax. Next morning I got breakfast and then got my shared ride to Wolfville and get checked in to the B&B where I’d be staying until I could sort something more long term. The rest of Sunday was spent getting dinner, getting a few food bits and generally being lazy.

I started work on the Monday and it was pretty much all spent doing adminy stuff. A lot of the time was spent getting a Social Insurance Number. The actual getting it was pretty quick but I ended up having to wait about two hours before I got to actually see the person who would issue it. Still was worth it as without it I couldn’t get paid. I also sorted out an appointment at a bank to open an account which I duly did Wednesday morning. I didn’t really do much proper work the first week, apart from a little bit of reading, as I was still getting a lot of other things sorted. Thankfully one of my colleagues was given me lifts to and from work so at least I didn’t have to faff with buses.

Wednesday evening I went and saw an apartment but unfortunately I didn’t really like it and the landlord was also looking to sell them so it didn’t seem like a very good option. Thursday I went and looked at a furnished apartment in a motel that was available to the end of April. It was a tad pricey but would give me time to worry about other things (such as finding a car) and a chance to make sure I was happy here before committing to a year’s lease as it was rented on a month-to-month basis. I liked the apartment so I agreed to move in Saturday. I’ll try and take and put up some photos soon.

That weekend I rented a car mainly so that I could move easier, run down to Halifax to do a couple of thing and to do some food shopping. Friday evening I went and sorted a Nova Scotia driving license. Thankfully they could just swap my slightly out-of-date American one so I didn’t have to pass another test or anything nor do I have to give up my British license. Saturday morning was spent moving before I run down to Halifax to get a pre-paid sim card, buy a big down jacket and look at a few car places. The first two were successful, the last less so. I think I’m going to look at cars that are a little more expensive than I first was – my parents have agreed to loan me the extra money as long as I pay them more than they’d get in a saving account – they see it as a win-win situation. Sunday I had a nice long lie in before doing nothing much more than some food shopping and looking around a few of a local shops to get an idea of who sold what. Nothing much exciting to report!

That first week was mostly below freezing and so the snow from the weekend stayed around. Also meant that the snow would meet a bit during the day before re-freezing making for some nice icy conditions. My ankle did not like them! Still managed to not injure it more and am getting used to the cold – even if it did start getting warmer towards the end of the week.

Well that pretty much sums up my first week in Canada. Rather pleased with how much I got sorted as I’d done most things on my to-do when I arrive list except sort a car which I always thought would take a bit longer. Hopefully things going reasonably well will continue.

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