Sunday, May 17, 2009

border hopping

I wish I had photos for this post...but the professor has borrowed my camera (it's pocket sized...if you have big pockets) and I haven't gotten it back. He's shot photos of every single house we've seen with the real estate agent (over 20, I'd guess?) and he's not done yet!

Today we took a break from the house hunting marathon. We drove down to the North Dakota/Manitoba border, about 70 miles away in Emerson, Manitoba and Pembina, North Dakota to get our work permits squared away. On Tuesday we'll try to pursue a social insurance number and other bureaucratic endeavors. These details are important and practical because the next time we come north, we're likely (we hope) to be Winnipeg home owners, toting two dogs, two cars, and a long list of things to come in the moving van.

All went smoothly! The border agents on both sides were efficient and kind. We were even wished a "Congratulations!" and "Welcome to Canada!" when we were done with our paperwork. The relief the professor felt (he's been anxious about this) was palpable. It's one thing to be offered a job. It's another to have bureaucratic permission from the government to actually live in the same country as the job...

We did observe a person having a bit of difficulty crossing the border. Apparently he'd once been convicted of snowmobiling while drunk, and while his hunting buddies waited for him, he and his 4-wheeler had to either go home and give up on the trip north or pay a fine of a couple hundred dollars. It's been years since I'd thought about this sort of thing...but gosh, yet another reason not to be stupid and do something illegal that you'll regret..much, much later. I used to mention this to my students when I taught high school and college...but, aside from privacy issues, I wished I could have shown a recording of this to the nearest available rebellious teenagers! (Reason #37 to Avoid Committing Crimes: It could be mortifying years later when trying to cross the border!)

The other thing that's happened is exhaustion. I'm so very tired that I even managed to screw up turning the heel on my very simple sock knitting project. I always travel with a mindless knitting project, and I've made perhaps 2 dozen pair of these socks..and designed several for publication as well. When crying seemed like the best solution to fixing the problem, the professor gently suggested I give up on knitting a couple of evenings ago and try again later. He was right. This morning in the car, I ripped it all out, turned the heel without incident, and knit half the foot on our journey. Sometimes, one's energies are just spent. Turns out househunting, crossing borders, and meeting lots of new people has really worn me out.

Meanwhile, this city is just as friendly, diverse and smart as the last time we visited...we've eaten Japanese, British, Vietnamese, Greek and Indian food in the last few days...and the temperature has warmed up, too--no more snow flurries!

So, ever face a basic knitting problem with such exhaustion that it seemed insurmountable?! How about house hunting? Does it exhaust everyone, or just me? Are you just reading this stuff cause you're curious--or are you moving to Winnipeg too?

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Anonymous AlisonH said...

Oh boy do I remember. We saw about a hundred houses in a week here; our realtor worked hard. Finally, he drove us past a sign with a tiny "for sale by owner" on cardboard on a stick in the ground, and pulled over.

It was perfect. It was what we wanted. It was where we wanted. The price was even one we could afford--here in California! The owner had told his kid to fix it up and sell it for him but the kid had been in no hurry (for long and reasonable reasons), and the owner from afar kept telling him to drop the price to make it sell.

The kid and his wife had not allowed a single realtor in the door--until ours. Who happened to have a master's in psychology. Heh.

We were going, Bruce! But you earned your fee and now you're not going to get it! He waved that away.

He's a good one, and we made up for it by the number of friends we've sent to him who've bought their houses with his help since then.

So, a good realtor is worth much. A bad one, such as we had for our first house, is less than useless. (We finally found our own house there and she demanded her cut anyway; we were first-timers, what did we know?) Ask people for recommendations, although it sounds like probably you're past that point.

May 17, 2009 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Haha...I'd never move to Winnipeg! I'll stay in Ontario....but I would like to also welcome you to Canada!

May 18, 2009 at 7:21 AM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

I knew it was time to put the knitting down when I burst into sobs over a miscrossed cable in a scarf pattern.

May 18, 2009 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

I remember my first sock.....I cried and yelled and cursed and cried more. What an "aha" moment when I FINALLY figured out how to turn the heel! That was monumental for me :) I do not allow myself to get that stressed over knitting anymore. Takes away the joy.

Hope the house hunting is progressing and that you both aren't terribly stressed.

I'm so excited to follow along on your new journey to Winnipeg. Canada is lovely and you must be very excited.

Good luck!

May 19, 2009 at 5:38 AM  
Anonymous Neil said...

Congratulations on navigating the bureaucratic wilds north and south of the border! Glad things are going well.

May 20, 2009 at 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Deborah Robson said...

Glad to hear that the paperwork is getting into order. This is tremendously exciting! I've been on the road, too, but locally. Looking forward to hearing more about your move as it progresses.

May 20, 2009 at 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck on your move. I'll keep up with you on your blog. I'm new to comments so am not sure how (or if) this will work.

Zoey's grandmother (Zoey,the dog)

May 20, 2009 at 9:33 PM  

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