Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Visa Loop

Getting into a country is tougher than I thought. Or rather, getting there is easy, staying is hard. I decided to stay in Canada to be with my girlfriend almost exactly one year ago. Since then, I've had to go back to work to save money so visit again because a tourist visa only allows a six month stay. Yes, it's a ball ache. Apply for a visa? Here's how my experience of that has gone so far:
You want to work in a new countryYou need a VisaYou need a job offerYou need to be legal to work
As this gorgeous flow chart shows, it feels like a loop. An endless loop. A loop that seems designed to deter you from even entering. I have spoken to people who know about this and they recognise the loop and tell me to go for something else - a working holiday visa. These things are a lot easier to get by the looks of it. They last a year and help you find work. There is one catch though - they are only a limited amount and they are released at intervals a couple of times a year. The next ones come out in January. Not ideal of course but better than the loop. 

 But! An even better way has presented itself, courtesy of a bloke called Gareth I met in the pub the other night. Gareth is an English musician with a Canadian girlfriend. He told me that it only took him three months to get his 'spousal' visa and all he had to do was prove he had a legitimate relationship with his girlfriend for a minimum of a year It just so happens that my girlfriend were out that night celebrating one year together. So now, armed with Gareth's advice and a years worth of relationship evidence, I'm going for that visa. Anything but the loop.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

A Sticky Start

I bloody love sticks. Always have done. Here is a picture of me, aged 5 with one:

And here is a picture of me, aged 22 with one:

Between these two pictures, I aqquired a girlfriend, facial hair and height. I lost cuteness, hair colour and a duffle coat. The one constant is a stick.

I've met others, like me, usually male, who have grown up seeking out the best sticks whenever they go for walks. We cycle through up to a dozen each time, discarding them by the path when we find a bigger, more sturdy, sticker stick. Never happy. Always searching. 

Why? Beats me. Some say it's a phallic extension of the mind. I hope not. Others say its good support for a walk. I'm not convinced. 

Whenever and wherever I pick up a stick, I havent needed it. I just want it.

Perhaps science will one day be able to explain our attraction to them. Even if they dont, I've got my eyes set on being an old man with a bad back. Where walking everywhere with a stick comes with the job.