It’s been almost 10 months since I applied for the Canadian citizenship. Last week I received the invitation to pass the citizenship test. The funny thing is, after I applied, one month later, the immigration office sent me the booklet “A look to Canada” and I just read it last week. I was surprised because I was expecting that letter in May. I heard the process can take 1 year. I was a bit lucky, mine took less than that.
I talked to my boss for a leave of a couple of hours to pass the test. What a coincidence. She worked before in that office. Well, I left my workstation and I went to the metro station. The wagon doors were closing, as in the tvads, and I passed through then between a narrow space where I could enter. Once there I left at Bonaventure station. I walked down the street and I entered into the office. The security guard asked me for my invitation letter. That was the proof to enter. Inside the hall there were 30 people waiting. At 9.30 a woman came out and asked us to come in to the test room. There, I calculated we were 60. The space was very crowded, it was ridiculous to see big people sat in small chairs.
The woman started to speak us in French and English (the service is always bilingual). It was very funny to hear her horrible accent; she was killing the English language. She told us he had 30 minutes to complete the test. She gave us the answer sheet and the booklet with the questions. I don’t want to be mean or cheap but the booklet was ready to be recycled. It was so old and dirty and then I thought “God, I paid 100$ dollars for the citizenship; I know now where my money doesn’t go”.
The questions were very simple. Too easy, maybe I failed in one but the rest I’m pretty sure I did it well. I was the third person who finished the test in…let’s say 7 minutes? After that, we went to next room where the ceremony is held but for this time, there were immigration employees asking for some papers like passport and the immigration sheet.
10 minutes later, a woman claimed my name and two others. We followed her outside the room for going to a kind of workstation, just like mine, grey and dirty. The woman asked several question to inform herself and to evaluate my French level. She asked me when I arrived, why I came here and other personal things. I was honest with her. I said I felt in love with someone, that people commit crimes in the name of love. I told her I was sponsored by my ex. Well, I added we were the second gay couple who applied for the migration. Yes, I did my coming out to the employee. After she asked if I wanted to come back to Peru and I told her since my mother knows I’m lesbian is impossible. I told her I worked here in Montreal for the federal government. She replied “you got a good job” I replied “it’s just a contract”. I asked her how long I have to wait for the oath and she said “between 2 and 8 weeks, are you pressed to have the citizenship?” I said no. It was just a question.
I left the building almost running because I didn’t want to lose my working hours at the office. It took me 1.30 hour the entire trip and the test. When I arrived to the workstation I said to my colleges that I passed. They were happy for me. Chetra told me to go to eat poutine. I said “yes, why not?”. The problem she wanted to have lunch at 11.30, whatever. My boss joined us. When we were at the food court she wanted to pay my poutine. I refused “why, you’re Canadian now?” she said. I just felt bizarre because they’re people who I barely know and they’re very nice with me. Why? My boss asked me personal questions like how many siblings I had, if I had my family here etc. etc. etc. I felt a bit embarrassed. I never met a boss so…closer to their employees. Maybe because she’s pregnant.
I went to the office to continue to work. Just some minutes ago, before leaving for the lunch, she asked me to call her. When I did it I was nervous, she asked me for my test and after knowing everything was great she added my contract was renewed for another month.
Tell me if life is weird.