2 Year Mark
Katya officially became a Permanent Resident to Canada in January of 2011, the day that CBSA (Canadian Border Security Agency) officers stamped her visa and officially welcomed her to Canada at Toronto Pearson International, her official "port of entry". This month marks two years that she's been here.
In that time she's found it incredibly easy to integrate into Canadian society. Canada, being a hodgepodge nation of immigrants, where the rule of law is supreme and the standard of living is incredibly high, is a fairly easy country to adapt to. Katya has seen the west coast, the prairies, most of Ontario and a small part of Quebec and she has grown patriotic of Canada, even if she refuses to admit it!
For instance, we were watching some stupid romantic comedy (I don't know the name of it, nor do I remember its generic pandering plot line), and there were a few rather stupid references to Canada as being some sort of cold Mexico where everyone is a stupid lumberjack and the cell phone hasn't been invented yet. Katya yelled "You fucking idiot Americans!" at the TV screen, taking me by surprise! She was angry at the stereotype portrayal of her new home!
A few weeks later I was watching the evening news and a story came about an American tourist who assaulted a police officer in Toronto, calling them a bunch of banana republic wannabes and throwing something at them. He was tasered and arrested and charged with assaulting a peace officer and can be expecting to serve some time in a "banana republic" Canadian prison. Katya became so angry at the guy! I had to remind her that it's not so bad and who cares what some idiot American tourist thinks? I tried to explain the theory of American Exceptionalism to her (to her credit, she still doesn't understand how an entire society can think they are somewhat more special than the rest of the world) and also tried to explain that Canada has become a lot like the US in culture and thought.
|Toronto "banana republic" police|
Ultimately it doesn't really matter. I love Canada, but there are many things about America I love as well. I love that only in America can one see all the different geographies and climates of earth. I love all the inventions and contributions to humankind that Americans have given the world. I love that spirit of endurance and vitality that the US has always had, even in the dark times. Of course, there are many things I dislike about America, but there are many things I dislike about Canada, as well. No country is free of faults, just as no country is all bad (well, some are. North Korea and Saudi Arabia come to mind).
What I do love, however, is Katya's growing patriotism in Canada. She claims she's not and could care less about Canada, but when somebody insults her new home she becomes defensive. That's a sign that a love is growing.
Next year she will have been here for three years and will then be eligible to apply for citizenship. She'll have to take a test and pay a fee and then swear allegiance to the Crown and the flag at a special ceremony. Once she has that then she can apply for a passport and suddenly she'll be free to travel to nearly any country in the world without a visa (aside from, again, North Korea and Saudi Arabia, and, since our Prime-Minister boldly accused the Turks of genocide against the Albanians in 1917, Turkey as well).
That will be good because I want to take her to see jolly old England and, most importantly, I want to take her to visit the United States of America so that she can see that the average American is a pretty decent human being and that American cities are, for the most part, fairly safe. Finally, when she has her Canadian passport, I can take to her to New York, a world capital if ever there was one, and most importantly, to Las Vegas. Ya baby!