Burger time!

Well, I went to the Immigration place and got my residence permit. They tried to make me do a Dutch course and this whole naturalisation thing like a test about the Netherlands but I think it was a mistake. The lovely ladies at school admin rang them and sorted things out for me. Glad that’s over now!

Uncertainty is my biggest fear.

How long will I be gone? What’s the process for dealing with this? Will I ever get to live here again, or am I stuck with a stressful last semester?

I know it has to work out, but it still terrifies me. It’s not like I’m going somewhere completely unknown; I’ll be with my parents and Minnie and all of my books and stuffed animals. 

But it’s stressful. I’m tired and know I won’t sleep for the next few days. I leave tomorrow morning and pleading with the universe to give me the hugs of every friend I’ve ever made.

Des examens médicaux à la chaîne

Pour obtenir un “resident permit”, Tim et moi avons du faire une batterie d'examens médicaux afin de prouver notre bonne santé.

Le matin du mardi 15 novembre nous sommes allés au centre de santé et des voyages internationaux du Sichuan. Nous avons rempli un questionnaire pour constituer notre dossier. La liste d'examens à effectuer est copieuse: analyse d'urine, prise de sang, électrocardiogramme, radio des poumons…

Nous nous rendons au 3ème étage pour la prise de sang. Et là, choc culturel ! Une file de gens attend devant une vitre. Derrière celle-ci, la biologiste, chargée des prises de sang. Pas de banquette inclinée, pas d'intimité. Quand notre tour arrive, nous nous asseyons sur un tabouret et glissons notre bras dans le trou de la baie vitrée pour se faire prélever deux petits tubes de sang. La bonne nouvelle c'est que la biologiste ne rate jamais la veine et ne fait pas mal… Piquer à la chaîne des centaines de personnes toute la journée, tous les jours ça aide à avoir la main !

Nous avons également fait pipi dans deux petits pots que Tim a donné à la biologiste, voisine de la preneuse d'hémoglobine. Passage plutôt drôle car Tim s'est un peu mélangé dans les petits récipients et au moment de mettre les noms des propriétaires dessus, il y a eu un petit moment de flottement…

Nous descendons ensuite à l'étage inférieur pour les autres examens. On passe de salle en salle, de consultation en consultation, de machine en machine. Contrôle de la vue, tension, poids, taille…Les examens sont expédiés.  L'électrocardiogramme vaut le détour dans son genre. On s'allonge, l'infirmière met des sortes de pinces aux chevilles et aux poignets (un peu flippant…) ainsi que des électrodes au niveau du coeur. Et hop, au bout de trente secondes, c'est bouclé ! L'échographie dans la salle à côté bat également des records de vitesse.

On descend au premier étage pour le dernier examen: la radio des poumons. Là non plus, hors de question de s'attarder. Les hommes enlèvent pull et t-shirt devant tout le monde. Les femmes, heureusement, ont le droit à plus de pudeur. On se déshabille derrière un paravent pour enfiler une blouse. Mais homme ou femme, l'infirmier fait preuve de la même délicatesse rugueuse pour nous placer contre la plaque de la radio.

C'est fini. A la sortie, on nous donne le papier pour récupérer les résultat et deux petites briques de lait sucré…

11 days

You learn a lot while you reach the point where you’ve got 11 days before your residence permit expires and the university constantly fails to provide necessary documents to get it prolonged, but definitely the most important thing is the full appreciation of the fact that even if they really fail, you will simply go home. 

No need to seek for asylum. No need to be afraid of separation from the beloved ones. No need to be afraid of being sent to the front. No need to be afraid of parents who would force you to get married because you’re already overeducated and, even more importantly, over 30. 

Even if all the dear teachers, books and flower vessels will have to be left behind, even if harvest didn’t come yet, I’ll simply pick my EU passport and leave. I’ll bite my lips and silently cross this border which for thousands of people in a truly tragic situation is an impassable barrier.

In any case these past three years were totally worth it.
In any case I belong to the narrow privileged group among all the immigrants who in different parts of the world are being told every day “This is not enough to allow you to have a good life here”. 

I wish in the Shanghai Exit-Entry Administration Bureau today they played Charlie Winston’s great song In your hands, but there was only a girl singing over a golden Tibetan prayer wheel. 

Why Migrant Children Are Being Expelled from Russian Schools

“Moscow for Muscovites”: Why Migrant Children Are Being Expelled from Moscow Schools Darina Shevchenko June 18, 2015…


The Prague Trip That Saved My Sorry Canadian Tourist Ass

When I went off to Prague last weekend, on a three-day get-away trip with a bunch of my Erasmus buddies from the dorm, I never expected it to matter much beyond the fact that I was putting off working on a very important presentation to do so. Little did I know, that the trip to Prague would eventually become the one thing between me, and an untimely ticket back to Canada.

The trip itself was great. The nine of us (the three Turkish girls Beril, Elif and Dilan, the two Italians Rita and Mirko, the two Spaniards Leyre and Antonio and Team Greece-Why-Did-We-Think-Breaking-In-New-Shoes-In-Prague-Would-Be-A-Good-Idea-Canada, Andrew and I) spent Friday night, all of Saturday and part of Sunday walking around the Old Town, the New Town, the Astrology Clock, the Christmas Markets, the Jewish cemetery, Charles Bridge, the Castle and the shopping streets. No easy feat for so short a stay. Despite our rushed schedule and the fact that we knew little about what we were doing and seeing at the time (case in point, the picture of me rubbing that dog, the legend of which I had no clue about), and the fact that it was hecka cold and rainy for most of our stay, I can safely say we all had a great time.

The fact that because of this trip I left the Schengen Zone for over 24 hours, and coincidentally carried around the paper trail proving it when I went to get my residence permit, which stopped the Austrian government from kicking me out of the country for having stayed 86 out of my allotted 90 tourist days as a Canadian citizen when my permit would take more than four days to be ready, made this trip all the sweeter.

Oh, and I kicked ass on the presentation I put off in favour of going to Pague. The Grammaticalization of Deixis and the Grammaticalized Deictic Dimensions in English, French and Spanish can kiss my ass!

jagborimumindalen said: How much is left of the semester? If it’s less than 3 months can’t you come back immediately because the whole “North-Americans-don’t-need-a-visa-for-under- 3-months” thing?

I thought that as well, but I guess I’ve already used up my 90 days within 180 days thing. But no one really checks that? Currently waiting for news from the consulate, guess I have to wait until after Easter weekend. Hurry up!