Monday, July 03, 2006

Early for USA, Late for Canada

Fireworks are still legal here. Although, not these kind.

Our neighbors down the street were shooting these off last night. Connor normally goes to bed around 9:00, but they started in around 9:30, so he had to get out of bed to watch. They were done by 10:00 - before any police showed up. Of course, the police won't come unless someone complains, and since they stopped by 10:00, I don't think anyone did. They were probably all watching, like us.

I was born in Canada, and I'm still Canadian. My parents live there, and I'm not sure I won't need to go back for an extended time in the future. If I change citizenship, that becomes problematic. My older sister did wind up moving back with her 3 kids, and my younger sister has become a U.S. citizen. I'm still at the point where I was at age 6 when we moved to California.

This is kind of how it's always been for me. My folks spoke german to us at home when I was growing up, because they considered moving back to Germany off and on, and if we wound up going, we girls would be able to speak the language.

The biggest downside of being Canadian is the passport hassle. This is going to be even more of a hassle since up until this coming January, I was able to cross the Mexico & Canada borders with just my regular ID & green card. I am in the process right now of getting a new passport. The last time I had a valid one was 1987.

It's even more of a problem for me because I don't have a birth certificate. I was born in Montreal, and was baptized in the Catholic Church three days after I was born. In Quebec at that time, your baptismal certificate counted as your birth certificate as well. It doesn't anymore. I need to get a birth certificate first, then I can submit my application for a passport. The form is available online in pdf format, and I've completed that. I'm sending it in this week. I have no idea how long it will take to get the certificate back. Then I'll have to send off for my passport. And because it's Quebec, the main language is French, which is just kind of funny that they keep that going, if you ask me.

In the meantime, I will enjoy the 4th of July (it was Canada Day on the 1st of July, btw) with the rest of the U.S.A. The only things different for me as a legal alien are I can't vote here, I can't be on jury duty, and I don't qualify for a lot of student loan programs which is the one the bothers me the most.

Lee tells me I should vote in Canada elections - I don't agree, since I don't live there and wouldn't have to live with the consequences of my vote. Plus, I'd really want to be informed, which is a little more difficult from here. If I wind up moving there, I will jump right on that.

Incidentally, all three of my kids are considered Canadian, until age 28. They are able to live, work & go to school in Canada if they wish. After 28, if they haven't gotten a Canadian passport or moved there, it's assumed they don't want the nationality, and they lose it.

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