Today was orientation day. I woke up around 9 am, and since I hadn’t yet found the SWAP office, I decided to make a dry run and get some breakfast. It was a beautifully crisp, windy day, like the days I remember in Ohio back when we still had fall, so I enjoyed the 20 minute walk. It would have been much less pleasurable if I’d dragged my suitcase along with me, though, so I decided to head back, grab some food, and then catch an Uber over.
I ended up at the very hip Voodoo Cafe on College St, where a friendly local recommended the fruity espresso. The barista made me a big cappuccino (complete with cappuccino art) and I scarfed down a wood-fired bagel from a Kensington Market bagelry (that’s a word now). Back at the hostel, I narrowly managed to drag my suitcase down the vertical stairs, around a corner, down a ramp, up three more steps, then down 5 more without sustaining any injuries. Once my Uber dropped me at SWAP, I got to drag my suitcase up another flight of stairs, because apparently nothing in Toronto can be on ground level. I’m going to be a goddam sideshow muscle woman once I’m home.
Up at SWAP, I met Maddy the coordinator and told her about my visa mix-up. She had me sorted in about fifteen minutes with a letter from the government explaining that I’m eligible to work anywhere in Canada, a tremendous relief after dealing with immigration yesterday. I want to be her best friend. Orientation covered all the essentials, including getting your social insurance number and bank accounts. The Service Canada office was only a kilometer away, so once everything was finished, I walked over and had my SIN in hand in 15 minutes, and even had time to get a quesadilla before my second Uber to the train station. I’m currently aboard and have about three hours before I arrive in Montréal.