Blame Quebec

Friday, August 25, 2006

Today was a mega-shitty day. Shitalicious, and a woman who eats gelatin made from the ass of an Ass would know the taste of a shitty day when she has one. And no, my teeth aren't whiter, nor am I less likely to get breast cancer .

I would like to blame Terrance. I really would. As my partner, it is naturally his inherent fault when anything irritates me.

But today, I can honestly Blame Canada. Yes, I can Blame Canada. Specifically, I blame Quebec.

I spent my day at the Immigration Quebec office. With a crying child. And a pounding headache. And a multitude of people who didn't want to speak English. They wanted to speak to me in French and look insulted when I would announce that I did not speak French...then proceed to converse with me in French, asking me questions...in French. A language that I have told them I do not speak.

"Mutha-fuckin french speakers on my mutha-fuckin nerves!" - Thanks SLJ, that felt good.

So, two hours later, I am still in Immigration, clutching my green folder like it was going to reveal the secrets of the mutha-fuckin universe. Emily is moaning in her hard grey chair next to me, and begins to lick my arm.

AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Do not lick me when I am less than 7 seconds from pulling a classic US postal worker flip out. I flick her in the forehead. The Immigration people look at me. I can hear them thinking:

"Nous ne pouvons pas la laisser dans notre pays. Elle est une mère merdeuse."
or
"We cannot let her into our country. She is a shitty mother."

At quarter to three, I approach the same man I spoke with earlier. He speaks to me again in French. I establish AGAIN, that I do not speak English. I point to my crying child. I ask him with my prettiest "hide your hostility" smile "how much longer does he think it might me? For my child, sir, she is hungry and crying..."

He seems a bit ashamed as Emily rolls around on her grey plastic seat, weeping openly. He'll check. Then he sits there for awhile longer. Not checking. Anything.

I will get you someday, sir. I swear I will.

Then magically my name is called. At 3 p.m.

And the man - the man walks super fast through the maze of cubicles. I make my daughter actually run to keep up with him.

We sit. He reads to me, in French, the list of documents he claims I did not send. I show him the copies of the ones I DID send in, and provide him with extra copies. He tells me I don't have a financial support document...I pull it out of his pile and point it out to him. He counters this move with a claim of not having bank records, and I deftly reach out and pull the bank records from the pile...He parries with "No name on this account", so I reach out with my deposit slip to show our names on the account, and then point to where it is printed on the top of the statements.

Like a Kung Fu master, I weave and glide with his every move...until finally he has no choice. He approves my CAQ, my permission from Quebec to study in the Province. I need this document before I can apply for my Immigration Canada, and the school board demands it before they will register Emily for School (which is a whole 'nother mutha-fuckin post...since she is to go to an English speaking school and since her parents aren't Canadian, the Quebec law says she should have to go to a French Immersion school - unless given a special waiver for part English instruction...)

So? Is it any wonder that I am having a glass of wine...and a cigarette as a reward for not killing any other human today?






P.S. As I was sitting outside, our ganga-smoking neighbor came out. I think I may have actually scared him a little as he watched me abuse the gnomes...then try to explain that I had a REASON for taking pictures of the gnomes. People love the gnomes! That I am loved by the internet, dammit, and the gnomes are loved too.

"Good luck with that", he said in a heavy French Canadian accent as he walked inside.

I don't need no mutha-fuckin luck on this mutha-fuckin blog, mutha-fucker.

27 Baleful Regards:

lindsayc said...

dear lord - did you ever earn that drink and a smoke! as a Canadian (way far west)i am ashamed by the behaviour of that lame dick at immigration. Poor you. Poor Emily. I hope you find a suitable school for her.

Jenny said...

I'm sorry but you make me laugh. Brava Madam! Fricking fabulous rant!

Mom101 said...

Well at least you're in a country where they don't look down on you for drinking and smoking, right?

madge said...

Actually you deserve a long, strong, oily massage after a day like that.

But I guess a drink and a smoke will have to do.

jess said...

I told you that I found the people of Quebec somewhat . . .brusque.

I love the Gnomes. And you. I raise my glass in commiseration. Except it's not wine in my glass, but a Newcastle. Still.

wordgirl said...

And in a show of sisterly solidarity (for who among us is immune to the shitty day??), I will toast you with a glass of wine tonight.

Elizabeth said...

Damn. They sure are making you jump through some hoops, aren't they?

What's the French word for asshat?

Anonymous said...

That's about the same experience you could expect from the immigration office here in the US. My husband is Canadian-a "mutha-fukin french speaker" and we got the same treatment during his process. Ours took 2 years of phone calls, paperwork and several trips before our interview so I hear ya. Luckily we didn't have a little one with us-or I think I may have lost it as well.....I love the gnome. I wonder how you say gnome in french?

Jaelithe said...

See, with your beautiful produce pictures and your glowing descriptions of bakeries, markets and cafes, you had me all stoked to move myself to Quebec. But now? NOW? Now that I find that not only are the government officials there are just as rude, disorganized and ineffectual as the government officials here, but that apparently they insist on being deliberately incomprehensible to those of us who have not yet had the fair fortune to learn French?

Well, now the shine is off the apple, Quebec. I might just move my brilliant, hardworking self, my tech-savvy husband, and my gorgeous child to Bhutan instead, bitches. So there! Your loss. And all because you were rude to Dawn.

Dawn, perhaps you should wear a t-shirt that says WARNING: DON'T CROSS THIS POWER BLOGGER, in the five most commonly spoken languages anytime you go somewhere where you think someone might piss you off.

mamatulip said...

Yeah. I was waiting for a post like this. Bottom's up, girl.

That's why I don't live in Quebec. Or visit Quebec. Outside of various items on the McDonald's menu, I speak no French, even though it's a requirement here from Grades 4-9. I can't even introduce myself in French. And that's not really smiled upon in Quebec, ya know?

Her Bad Mother said...

Correction, Mom-101 - she's in a PROVINCE that does not look down on smoking. Or raw-milk cheese-eating.

Welcome to Canada, Dawnie. Welcome to Quebec.

(Are those Quebecois gnomes? DId you kick them hard?)

TB said...

I am so proud of you for weaving through the beurocratic bullshit, in FRENCH no less and winning. And I thought the US had the market cornered on stupid red tape.

Have a cig and a glass of wine for me. Make it a Pinor Noir.

mothergoosemouse said...

Perhaps you should have asked yourself, "What would Brian Boitano do?"

Dawn, I'm sorry that I giggled. At both your expense and Em's (the licking and the flicking - I couldn't help it). I'm glad you're official now. And I'm truly fascinated by the differences between the Canadian provinces. I've really got to visit again now as an adult.

E. said...

Man, I have a headache just thinking about your day. I think you deserved a smoke of the kind your ganga-smoking neighbor might endorse!

Bobita said...

I was hoping...above all hopes...that you would relay to us that Mr. Ganga-Neighbor had politely offered you a drag from HIS cigarette!!

Alas, smoking gnomes are almost as good!

Catherine said...

"Good luck with that..." It's THOSE kind of smart-assy remarks that send me on a "classic US postal worker flip out." well... AFTER a day like yours, of course.

Candice said...

Ya quebec can be mean when you dont speak "their language". Ive been living in montreal now for almost 2 years. Some people can be just a$$hole$. They were very mean to me when i switched over my license. Now when i know its going to be "frenchy" i bring my bf or his sister to be my translator...

Mean people SUCK!

lildb said...

goddammit. why can't the bastard just accept that your gnomes are perverse, and drop it? because, for fuck's sake. gnomes.

bitches.

Andrea said...

Oh Dawn. That sucks monkey ass. And to make a child wait so long she expresses herself by licking your arm. That man is just wrong, not checking how much longer it would be, and then the man who wouldn't bother to look for all your paperwork.

Cheers, woman. That smoke and glass of wine were EARNED.

Suebob said...

Je pense q'il est un piece de merde.

That is about as far as my junior high french (it was 32 YEARS AGO, people, cut me some slack) will go, but I think it is appropriate.

roo said...

Well, you're smoking and drinking wine-- add a little existential angst (or maybe the immigration office covered that for you?) and you'll be speaking French in no time.

Karl said...

Damn, girl, I don't know anyone that deserves a cig and some wine more than you. Got to love bureaucracy, especially in French.

jen said...

I don't smoke but I woul dbe after a day like that. Fuck it.

And yay--GNOMES! I LOVE THE GNOMES.

Nancy said...

Damn, the American woman, she is angry. Does she not appreciate the wonderful bistros, the cafes, the bakeries, the delicious French wines? Must she abuse our lovely gnomes?

Lisa said...

Huh? Whu? Sorry, I was too busy staring at that pic of Wentworth Miller. Heehee.

Seriously. Dear Lord. I want to reach out and slap some Canadian offical after hearing that shite! Gah. You deserve more than a glass of wine or one cig.

Where's a shiv (or shank) when you need one?

Unsuspecting Pollyanna said...

Yeah. Quebec has all the rudeness of the french with none of the class or fine cuisine. Screw 'em.

Diana said...

I know nothing about Canada- but would like to say: would Terrence or you neighbors look at you funny if you got more gnomes? I found some on-line and wrote a post dedicated to you today...all because of my envy for your garden gnomes. (I love them, I wish I had a garden!)
Much deserved wine & cig! Ganga-smoking neighbor has a nerve to even look at you funny.

 
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