We were in Toronto yesterday to submit our biometrics as part of our visa application. We’d actually submitted our visa applications on October 24th, but had been waiting for letters from the bank before making our biometrics appointments. The moment I saw the letters in the mailbox, I shrieked with glee and couldn’t stop jumping about excitedly. Prior to us going, Lucas double, triple, quadruple-checked all the documents we had to submit, even adding ones that we didn’t explicitly need just to cover all our bases.
We were booked for 1 and 1:15pm but got in to our appointment early; there was no one else waiting when we got there. The office was on the twenty-fifth floor and there was a wonderful view of the city. I wanted to take a picture but there were signs prohibiting cellphones, laptops and cameras from being on and the last thing I wanted was to be kicked out of the office for taking a mere picture (for that matter, there were also signs warning that if you stood on the heater by the window, you could be kicked out too). Our appointments went swimmingly. The two ladies who processed our documents and did our biometrics were incredibly nice and so helpful. I’d actually expected the people working in the office to be uptight and strict. Raspberry was curious about the fingerprinting process (she’d brought her stuffed octopus, Octopodes (pronounced the Greek way — “oc-top-o-deez”), so it could get its tentacle prints done) and really wanted to watch me get my prints done but wasn’t allowed to. She had to stay behind a red line on the floor but kept inching closer to look. We were able to submit Raspberry’s documents to the office, despite a part of the application stating that we had to mail it directly to New York, so that was a relief. We spent about forty minutes in the office getting everything done and when it was all over, I’m sure Lucas instantly felt a million pounds lighter. I know I did.
With a couple of hours to kill, we headed toward the St Lawrence Market, stopping to pick up my film that I’d dropped off earlier in the day. The girl who works at the photolab, I believe her name is Michelle, is so nice. I’m definitely going to miss having my film processed there when we leave (not to mention the cheap price too). Our trip to the market was just to kill some time. We didn’t pick anything up there (although Raspberry kept asking for a treat) but we were able to take some time to sit and eat as we’d been on our feet all day (we’d taken PATH from St Andrew’s station to Eaton Centre, including a detour to the Sheraton Hotel, and Raspberry had a field day running through PATH, taking the stairs instead of escalators whenever she had the chance). Raspberry tried some samples of nori from the organic, raw, vegan cafe we were sitting across from, believing it to be crackers but she didn’t really like them. She’s always interested in the food at the market and spent a long time perusing pieces of chocolate tied up in ribbon to look like a present. I told her that if she wanted some, she can use her own money to pay for it herself, to which she wondered when the next time we were going to be at the market be. Ha. Curious about what they were, she also sifted through some advent calendars but the lady manning the store emerged, rearranged the boxes (not that they were messed up to begin with) and chided her for playing with them. Why is it adults often assume exploration by children is playing and say it with such derision? Sigh. I immediately hauled Raspberry away; the lady’s behaviour makes me less likely to want Raspberry to spend her money there.
There wasn’t much left to do thereafter; if it hadn’t been so cold, we might’ve stayed longer and done something else but we were cold and tired, so we headed back to Union. I’d been wanting a photobooth picture for a while (the last photobooth picture that had all three of us in it was taken in June 2010) so we did that before we hopped the four p.m. train back. Lucas looked back on the day, wryly saying, “all that for a half-hour.”
So now, we wait. More. Again. The lady at the office said it officially takes about fifteen business days for decisions to be made on the visas, but the website says 91% of their decisions are made within five days. Of course, I’m hoping it happens sooner than later for us but given our luck thus far with this whole process, who knows? Fingers crossed.
Oh, I came across an amazing apartment in Liverpool on Gumtree. It has two bedrooms, looks fantastic, is right in the heart of the city centre, is furnished, has all bills included and is oddly affordable at £500 a month (I say it’s odd because it’s tough to find a place in the locale for that price, let alone with all bills included). I’ve been sort of corresponding with the guy renting it out and he says we can even sign the lease as early as next weekend. It seems too good to be true. If it is true though, it’d be great to have a place all lined up for when we get there. I’m waiting to hear back if he’s okay with a kid and a cat and that we’re still in Canada. I’m hesitant to commit to a place so quickly when we don’t even know when exactly we’ll be there. Anyway, one thing at a time I suppose — visas first and then everything else.