For the last five years, my parents have been trying to sponsor my grandmother over from Cambodia. My dad’s mom is currently living here in Canada but my mom’s mom is still over in Cambodia. This process is starting to be a pain. I don’t know why it’s taking so long to get an approval from the branch of government that handles these applications. Someone over there is sure taking their sweet time to do their job.
Way back when I first started college, my parents filled out an application to sponsor my grandmother so she can live in Canada. My grandfather had passed away a few years before so all she had left were her children. My mom hasn’t seen my grandmother since the day she left Cambodia but she did get the chance to visit a few winters ago. They secretly dipped into my savings and borrow money that I didn’t even know I had. But anyway, the application to sponsor my grandmother started around June 2002. The application was pretty thick, worse than your income tax. We filled that out and attached a money order for $1000 or so. I guess that’s how much it costs to process the application. It’s not worth it if you ask me. If I paid someone $1000 to process my application, I would expect it to be done by the next day.
In order to qualify to be a sponsor, my parents had to meet the criteria. It is as follows:
“Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Canada, 18 years of age or older, may sponsor close relatives or family members who want to become permanent residents of Canada. Sponsors must promise to support the relative or family member and their accompanying family members for a period of three to 10 years to help them settle in Canada.1”
My dad was going to be the one that would do the sponsoring because he had the income to support my grandmother for three to ten years. So he filled out the application and waited. It took years to get some sort of feedback. We wanted to find out the process of the application but we didn’t know how. So we tried calling up their help center. It was no help at all. Like most government helpline, you’re put on hold for hours. And sometimes, they hang up on you, the voice prompt even says so. Their hours are regular business hours but if you were the first person to call at 9:00am, the line would still be busy. It’s like those radio contests were the first caller through win. But with the Immigration Helpline, the first caller through doesn’t win. The first caller through gets put on hold. That’s just stupid. The voice prompt suggests that if you get hung up on, you should visit their website.
Their website isn’t all too helpful either. In order to find out the status of your application, you need to enter a client number, which was the reason why we called the helpline in the first place. It’s typical of the government to give you the run around. After finally getting the client number, we need to enter the other information. It asked for a name and a birth date. So I entered my dad’s information. That information was wrong. So I tried my grandmother’s information. That was wrong too. Finally I tried my mom’s information. Again that was wrong. By now, I’m really frustrated. In order to get the status, it asked for a client number, name and birth date. I’ve entered all three possible information and none of them were right. What’s going on?
It turns out, the correct login was to enter my mom’s information but it didn’t work because the application hadn’t been processed yet. They were currently processing applications filed in September 2001 and by then it was already September 2004. They were processing applications that was file three years before. How slow are they working?
When they finally processed my parent’s application, it was already 2005. We get a response saying that my dad is not eligible to sponsor my grandmother because he is not her immediate son. My mother on the other hand is eligible but we didn’t have her as the primary sponsor because she lacked the income to support my grandmother. Apparently, that didn’t matter as long as one of the person on the application was capable of supporting her. So we have to resubmit the application with the names reversed. That took about a week to get a reply.
Now that we had the approval, there was more paperwork to fill out. We had to send an application for my grandmother to fill out and sent to the Singapore Visa Office. I don’t understand why Singapore and not just have her send it back to Canada. This process took another year. On their website, it just showed a status of “Processing” and nothing more. So I sent an email to Singapore asking if we can get a more detailed information on what is being processed. I get a reply stating that they are currently processing applications filed in September 2004. It seems like they are always processing applications filed in September.
A week after I sent out that email, we get a letter from the Singapore Visa Office. They didn’t believe that my grandmother was my mom’s mom. Why the hell not? All the applications has been filled out and approved by the Canadian government and the Singapore office says they don’t believe us? I don’t think we would have been approved if the documentation that we filed with the initial application were falsified. So now we have to find documentation that proves that my mom is the daughter of my grandmother. My country’s structure of government isn’t that organized. Records may not be something that was important back then. It’s going to be hard to find a copy of documents of any kind. I think the best way to prove that they are related is to get a DNA testing done.
I fear that by the time this whole process is completed, my grandmother will not have much time left to enjoy her new life in a new world. I just wished that they speed up the process so it doesn’t take years to get a response. Not everyone is trying to cheat the government especially someone in another country. And they should think about giving priority to the elderly for the obvious reasons. I just hope they don’t take too long.
In the blog titled, “Stranger” a visitor commented that I may be going insane. Sometimes I wonder if I’m not already insane. One of the famous philosophers argued that if you were insane you wouldn’t know you were insane because from your perspective everything is fine. If other people don’t agree with you then they’re wrong. There is no right or wrong. The definition of right and wrong depends on your point of view. What may be wrong to me, can be right to you. So the definition of sane and insanity all depends on who you are as well.
I may have already gone insane and not even know it. Maybe everything I’m going through is all in my head. I’m not your typical guy. I think I have way too much patience, too high of a tolerance for things and nothing seems to bother me much. If I make plans to do something with some friends and they take too long to arrive, I keep waiting. While most people would throw a hissy fit, I remain calm and don’t say a word. Basically, I bottle up everything. Eventually, I may explode without notice. If something pisses me off, no one will even know.
Deep down inside, I’m bothered by a lot of things. I just don’t show it. The way I see it, it’s bothering me so no one else needs to know about it. I’ll probably blog about it and those who are interested in reading about it can do so here. I find it kind of pointless to express my thought at the time. I find that most people don’t listen. They expect you to listen but they don’t do it themselves. The things i say goes in one ear and somehow gets lost in their head. The response I’m expecting them from has nothing to do with what I’ve just said. There’s no flow in the conversation. I’ll be talking about apples and oranges and the other person will be talking about World of Warcraft.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from being patience, it’s that you can’t let things get to you. If things don’t go your way, just forget about it and move on. You don’t have time to waste so just ignore it. It’s a lesson learned and in the future you will know what to do. Every time I go rollerblading at the bay, I’m there by myself. The reason I’m there alone is because I don’t want to wait for anyone. I can go at my own pace and not have to worry if the other person is a beginner or not. If I call up another person, there’s a chance that I might have to wait on them. I don’t mind waiting if it’s worth it but if it’s something like rollerblading, I don’t bother. If anyone wants to go rollerblading with me, they’ll have to meet me there.
In the end, I’m pretty much a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. I have all the patience in the world which is more than one person needs. With all my anger bottled up inside, I just might lose it one day but I don’t see that happening. I take out my anger by relaxing my mind. I relaxing my mind by rollerblading. The more I rollerblade, the calmer I am. If I had a car, I would drive around all night. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, to be driving while my mind is wandering but something about speed helps me relax. Everyone has their quirks, this is mine. I guess it’s like my happy thought only I don’t just think about it, I do it.
The internet is a very powerful medium. It’s connecting people from around the globe and changing lives. It’s making it easier for everyone to share things with the rest of the world. If you have something on the web, you’re basically sharing with everyone. The internet is the stage and you are the actor. You’re not the director because you don’t control the internet. You’re the actor because you’re playing a role. Whether you choose to be yourself or make up a whole new identity that is up to you.
For most of us, our lives revolve around the internet. It has gotten to the point where the internet is like a necessity and no longer a luxury. I don’t recall there ever being a day where I don’t go online at some point. I have gotten into the habit where the first thing I do when I wake up is go online and check my email. Majority of the times I don’t have anything waiting in my inbox but I check anyway.
I rely on the internet for a lot of things these days. If I need to buy something from Futureshop, I will check out their online store first. If they have it, I would rather buy it online than go into the store and purchase it. That way, I don’t have to worry about waiting for the bus and wasting time. They offer free shipping on all their items so why not. If I’m looking for a good deal, eBay is just a click away. I don’t have to leave my house for anything. E-commerce is going to take over soon. It’s currently going through its growth stage and will soon mature. By then, everyone will be doing everything online.
This brings up the subject of an internet outage. What would happen if one day the internet disappeared? A lot of people are so dependent on the internet that all hell would break loose. There would be nerds calling up their ISP to complain because they are not getting their daily dose of Digg, gamers who play World of Warcraft would go crazy because their clicking finger isn’t clicking and E-commerce companies would be losing millions of dollars. If the internet goes down, most people would be left in the dark. And like the power outage that Ontario experienced a few years back, I’m not sure if everyone will be prepared for it when and if it hits.
A while back I read an article on gaming. There were a few gamers who were banned from the Halo server because they were caught cheating. These people were so into the game that they begged to be unbanned. They sent countless letters to the system administrator begging to be forgiven and that they would never do it ever again. It sounded like these guys were crying because they were banned from a game server. Apparently, their lives aren’t as important as playing these games. If they were to be expelled from school, they wouldn’t try as hard to get back into school as they did to get back into the game. It’s just ridiculous the amount of time and effort that some of them put into their fantasy life.
And then another time Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, received a lot of complaints because their servers were down for something like an hour. The majority of the players went to their forums to post complaints. Is the game worth complaining about because the server was down for an hour? I don’t see what the big deal is. If the service isn’t available, take the time to go outside and get some fresh air or something. Staying inside your room for hours isn’t good for you. There’s a whole other life that is more important than gaming. I have a friend who plays World of Warcraft a lot. Every time I’m over at his house, he’s playing it. Usually, his wife would yell at him because he is neglecting a guest. I assumed that he would just finish up what he was doing and then get off the game but by the time I left his apartment, he was still playing. I worry for his sanity.
Gaming isn’t the only industry that will suffer is the internet goes out. E-commerce is currently going through its growth stage. A lot more people are starting to do their shopping online. I shop online because it’s less of a hassle for me and it’s time saving. I don’t have to worry about the sale people too. I know what I want when I go into a store and I don’t need the sales rep to tell me about it and try to sell me warranties. I do a lot of my shopping on eBay because that’s where the majority of the deals are. If the cost of what I’m purchasing is on eBay is the same as the cost of purchasing it at the store, chances are I’ll still buy it on eBay. I don’t have to worry about leaving the comfort of my home in order to pick up something. I can just wait for the courier to drop it off.
Not a lot of people are accepting the fact that you can do just about everything online. The majority of those who are, are probably tech suave people. I get my shopping done online. I bypass the line ups at the bank and do my banking online. I even talk to my friends on the phone using an online service. I pretty much eat, sleep and play online. But if one day that online medium goes away, that won’t stop me from doing what I need to do. I don’t mind going to Futureshop to buy stuff. I don’t mind going to the bank to take out money there. And if I want to talk to a friend, my phone is always on me so that’s not a problem either.
If the internet was to go out, I’m prepared for it. I try not to depend too much on technology because it can fail without notice. Those of you who are addicted to MSN Messenger and who are constantly checking your emails every two seconds, you should think about disconnecting yourself from the internet for a day or so and see if you can handle it. It’s nice to slow down when you’re on the information super highway and take the time relax.
I been taking the bus for quite some time now. I’ve spend a lot of time just waiting for it. This morning, I had to go pee really badly and with my luck, the mens washroom was out of order. I had to run over to McDonalds to use their washroom. By the time I was done, the bus had already left. So I had to wait another half an hour for the next one. When it comes to me and buses, things never go my way.
Top 10 things I hate about taking the bus…
- when you’re late, the bus is running late as well
- if you’re running to catch the bus, you’ll end up missing it
- majority of the bus drivers can’t drive
- it seems like everyone goes on the bus at the same time you do
- no matter how packed the bus is, the driver always thinks there’s room for more
- when you’re in a rush, there are people who will get off at every stop
- the bus driver can’t wait for a second
- you always end up sitting next to someone who smells
- the bus driver likes to constantly hit the breaks
- when you want to get off at a certain stop, the bus driver always misses that stop.
Sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I don’t recognize the guy who’s staring back at me. There are times when I get this strange feeling like the person looking back at me is someone else. I can’t explain the feeling exactly but it’s like a feeling of confusion. I rarely get this feeling but when it hits, it just boggles my mind.
Tonight was a rather slow night at work. I went through most of the trouble tickets fairly quickly. The only thing left to do was make some test calls for quality. I wanted to wait until it was a good time to call the other countries. It’s pointless to call them if they’re half asleep because I won’t get a good answer. But anyway, I took a little break so I went over to the window to see what was going on outside. It’s Saturday night so the bars across the street was probably the most happening places in this area. When I walked over to Subway, I saw that the place was packed with girls. There were probably a few guys but I don’t recall see any. I do recall see the ladies though and they were dressed to impress. They impressed me, that’s for sure.
Anyways, I get to the window, stare out for a bit and then I catch my reflection. Because it’s dark outside and bright in the office, the window becomes more like a mirror. As I start to walk away, I took one last glance out the window. That’s when it hit. I saw myself in the reflection and I started to get confused. I’m staring at my face but momentarily, I had no clue who I was looking at. It was as if I saw my face for the very first time. Then I started wondering if the person I saw was me. I don’t know if there’s a word for this feeling but when I find it, I’m probably interested in reading more about it. It’s like deja vu where you get the sense that an event happen already.
This feeling is almost like that feeling when you repeat a word a few hundred times. After saying it so often you start to think that the word you’re saying isn’t even a word anymore. I’m not sure if anyone has had that feeling before but I do sometimes. That’s why I don’t like to repeat myself so often. If I do, it’ll feel like what I’m saying doesn’t make any sense.
When I got the feeling that I was looking at a stranger, there were a bunch of questions that popped into my head. “WhoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that? Is that me? Is that what I look like? Why do I look like that?” No answers popped into my head, only questions. And I didn’t know where to start. I had no clue what to do. But this feeling didn’t last long. After a minute or so, I started to get a grip on reality and accepted the fact that I’m just tired and my mind is playing tricks on me. Maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something. Maybe it’s saying that I don’t know who I am right now. In a way, it’s true. I don’t know what I want in life. I don’t know where I’m heading. I’m living my life from day to day. I rarely make plans for the future. If someone was to ask me what I was doing next week, I would simply reply, “I don’t know.” I honestly don’t have a clue what I’m going to do.
I’m at that point in my life where I should start worrying about the future. I should start thinking about settling down and starting a family. Every time a relative sees me, they all ask the same questions, “When are you going to get married?” To that, I don’t have an answer. When I was younger, I pictured my life to be different. I always thought that by the time I was twenty five, I would be out own my own, working at a good job and having a girl by my side. As of yet, I’m not on my own, I work at an okay job and I’m single. So much for that plan, eh.
I think once I start to realize that I have to get a move on, maybe then I’ll be living the life that I dreamt of. But it seems as if something is stopping me from living that life. I’m not sure what is it yet but it’s a journey that I’m willing to take in order to find out. We all travel down our own path and what we make out of life is what defines us as an individual. I have yet to discover who I am and where I’m going. We all have some sort of purpose in life. Right now, my purpose to get some questions answered. It seems as if during my whole life all I’ve been doing is asking questions but not getting an answer. I believe that once I get passed that stage, I’ll be ready to live my life to the fullest.