I got on the bus this morning to get my criminal background check and apply to get my passport renewed . . .
I began to remember how much I used to HATE taking the bus because of the crappy schedules and waiting and waiting and waiting for the damn bus to arrive . . .
Getting on the #12 Wharncliffe I quickly realized that the route had changed since I'd last been on it . . . luckily it still went downtown.
Seeing Canadian Tire in the background was strange because I felt this bizarre urge to go in and wander around when I had no reason at all to do so . . . lol.
My dad earlier on in the week had pointed out how Loblaws grocery store company has changed its name to Loblaw--don't know why and I think it's just weird. Why drop one letter?
After finishing a new part of the route we began to head downtown . . . but not before I was taken by this construction site--the last time I was home it had just been a huge farmer's field . . . talk about things changing.
Then there was a big patch of Wharncliffe road under construction . . . I really don't know why I took this pic other than it looked a little interesting . . . maybe because there weren't 20 workers and 10 supervisors roaming around the site like you see in Korea . . .
Crossing the Thames River (yes, there's more than one) I noticed some giant water streams in the far background and wondered what the heck they were . . .
Once I arrived in the downtown core area (London, Ontario) I headed to a place called Kinkos to make a photocopy of my passport info page before I had to turn it in for the renewal process . . . the girl inside wouldn't let me do color copies or a scan so I just did a black and white for 0.25 (2 copies). When I finally get all 13 items that the recruiting company I'm using, and SMOE, want I'll be mailing them; a copy of the information page on my passport is one of the items on the list.
Walking around the downtown core I cringed to see that somebody had decided to install metal tree sculptures and paint them with garish colors . . . I guess they add 'something' to the downtown core atmosphere . . . 'something' . . .
After getting my copies done I jumped on another bus for the 2 minute ride up to the police station.
Inside I handed my I.D. and form to a clerk who then proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions for the sensitive positions check . . . I was laughing at myself because I hadn't bothered to read over the box with the questions for 'office use only' and kept getting surprised by them.
For example, would I be supervising the children alone? handling their money? etc, lol. I said no to almost everything . . . and then wondered how they check you for the things you do say you'll be doing for your job . . . the best question was 'would I be in a position of trust with children?'--uhm, yes, and whenever I play card games as part of a lesson activity I make sure to cheat so they learn the lesson that they should never unconditionally and blindly trust a teacher--it's really funny once they realize I am 'capable' of cheating when playing card games like Uno with them; I put together five or six cards and place them on the pile like they're a single card . . . the more socially saavy kids catch on pretty quick . . . and then we all have a good laugh with a lot of "Teacher, NO!" comments . . .
I THINK Canadians are now being allowed to do the basic criminal check (ah Korea, make up your freakin' mind!) but I opted to go with the sensitive position one just to be on the safe side--I really don't feel like hearing from my new Korean supervisor or an immigration officer in the Toronto Korean consulate, or worse yet the one back in Korea, that I have the 'wrong' background check when I've already done all the legwork . . .
The one thing that sucks about the sensitive position check is that it takes 7-10 days to process and get back--so I'm going to photocopy the receipt and mail it with the other 13 items/documents and show the actual completed check itself later on . . . hopefully that works out. I think it will cause the recruiting company wants the documents ASAP, and one cannot get blood out of stone.
Speaking of legwork I walked about 10 blocks to get to the passport office . . .
Inside I asked what I needed to do to renew my passport and was handed a form. I thought I'd prepared everything I needed (passport photos, etc) but then when I got to the part about filling in the names of two people who have known me for more than two years who can vouch for my identity . . . I stumbled because I didn't have the addresses and other info the form wanted me to fill in for them . . .
I also asked myself who the heck was I going to put in the slots as I've pretty much lost touch with most of the people I knew as acquaintances and friends because that's generally what happens when you move to the other side of the planet to teach English . . . I thought back to the Health Psyschology course I took in university and one of the fundamental rules of relationships: proximity is a major influential factor in who you are friends with. I figured out who I'd ask but then realized I'd have to return to the passport office tomorrow because I just didn't have their phone numbers and addresses . . . argh. You think you're prepared and there's ALWAYS something that is missed, or a surprise . . . oh well.
Back outside I began walking to where I'd catch the bus home and saw this lovely little car,
I then missed the damn bus by 10 seconds . . . I decided to head over to the Galleria mall that is in the downtown core of London to see what movies were playing.
Unfortunately nothing was playing that I wanted to see. The only movie that looked interesting to me was Johnny Depp's new movie, "Public Enemies" but I would have had to wait 2 hours to see it . . . no thanks.
Instead I decided to walk around the mall to see what had changed--pretty much the entire mall's stores had changed . . . wow.
To 'calm my nerves' I decided to grab a booster juice (aka smoothie) and head back out to the bus stop to catch my ride home.
All in all not the most productive day, but at least my jet lag is beginning to dissipate . . .
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