Friday, June 02, 2006

My bags are packed, I'm ready (not) to go...

Funny how fitting that song is - when I left on a jetplane I didn't know when I'd been back but I never expected it would be so soon.

So, yes it looks like there's no way outta going back to Canada - I have been rejected by UK Immigration. Obviously, I'm not happy about the way things have gone for me since arriving, but I'm rolling with the punches. There was nothing I could have done differently that would have changed the outcome, unless I was willing to compromise my own morals and lie, which I wasn't.

If there really is a lesson to be learned from this all it is that life is really quite rnadom and as much as we want to control the road ahead, there are a great deal of things that are completly out of our control and so, when we hit a bump in the road, we have a choice: Hang on tight, ride it out and appreciate the smooth ride ahead all the more for it..or let the bump stop us in our tracks and lose sight of the brilliant ride ahead.

I've decided it's just a bump and I'm just a victim of misfortune in this case. Heck I can't really complain about one tiny bout of bad luck, when I've experienced great bucketfuls of luck in the last few years.

Still - an advisory to others who want to avoid this bump: It pays to have things planned out and it pays to suss out the immigration officers and try to find a spot in the line where you can get one that doesn't look like she's out to make your life miserable. Seriously - it was the luck of the draw.

On Wednesday night I caught up with Brandon, Gary and a few other peeps. Amongst them was fellow Canadian Andrea, who had returned to Canada just after I did in October 2005, when her visa expired. She was back here to visit for three weeks and came via Edinburgh airport. The officer glanced at her passport and said 'Oh you're on a working visa, well in you come then'! SO you see - I get the scary woman who thinks she knows it all and Andrea gets the complacent, slightly uninformed office. Luck of the draw for sure.

Anyways - so I've gathered some additional evidence to suggest that I am just here as a visitor (ie bank statements and a quote from Austravel for cost of flight & work visa). I also found evidence that one of the claims the officer made against me was false. She claimed I had violated my working visa conditions by working for 1 yr and 4 mths of my2 yr visa. According to her, I was only suupposed to work part of the time as a full-time employee or all of the time as a part-time employee. Well, I tried to tell her that my visa was issued before these new restrictions but she said they'd ALWAYS been like this. So I went on the net this week and found plain evidence that she was wrong, I was right and I never violated my working visa conditions.

This week, aside from the stresses of impending departure, has been really nice. I am still in love with Edinburgh and caught up with old mates this week. Went to the Walkabout last night and bit steaming... Met a bloke and started rambling about how I was being forcedto leave and needed good lawyer, which he just happened to be. But really - what can a lawyer do in one day? Aside from charge you a lot of money...

Anyways, so I'm getting ready to take Australia by storm. I intend to stay on PEI for as short a time as possible - I'm so embarrassed I have to come back at all. Think I'll be gone within a week and a half of getting back.

Big thanks to everyone who emailed me to express sympathies and outrage - Emily's email wins for 'most outraged'! Thanks to my ma for getting me the paperwork I needed during the week and putting up with my first panicked call. And also a HUGE thanks to my father for coming to pick me up at the airport tomorrow afternoon. You are all brillant :)

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