Thursday, February 19, 2009

Long Distance Calls

Last night I had a short but pleasant long-distance conversation with one of my eBay buyers (he really really really wanted the espresso makers). He was in La Paz, Bolivia. It was interesting to think of the actual distance, though our time zones were only one hour apart. (Average year-round temp in La Paz -- daytime 23-25C, nighttime 12-15C. I think I will move there.)

I don't know why he's there; maybe business or visiting family. But he won't return to Canada until spring.

Anyways, I kind of envy people who can plan and execute a distant vacation or business trip. I get stressed if I have to drive in downtown Toronto, and planning a trip home to QC seems to take weeks. I've never had my own passport (travelled on my parents' on my only off-continent trip to the UK in 1970). The last time I left Canada was in late January 2001, for a seminar in New Jersey (took the bus to Manhattan and spent a blissful couple of hours in MoMA, got to a few clearance racks at Saks Fifth Ave., and I got to watch the SuperBowl too), and did some heavy-duty outlet shopping in Secaucus, NJ. When I got to US Customs at the Toronto airport, the officer chided me firmly for not having any "official" ID. I couldn't find my baptismal registration (no birth cert from Quebec at that time), of course no passport, and she didn't much like my driver's license. But I got into the US and back home again. Eight months later it wouldn't have happened.

My mother and brother are great fans of travel -- my mom has been to visit family in Aus/NZ and Ireland four or five times now and my brother has been to Aus/NZ twice and is planning his next visit in 2010. When my dad was living the parents went on cruises and tropical and temperate vacations. Maybe that two-month UK trip when I was 14 and we got dragged around three countries, mostly by car, soured me...

But I do have the application mostly filled out; got my QC birth certificate; got my dentist to certify that it is in fact me on my passport photos (nice ones, thanks to my local photog Hoi); got my neighbours to agree that yes, they have known me for more than two years; and got most of the forms filled out.

Since my company cut almost all travel/training/entertainment/conference budgets late last year there's next to no chance I'll be asked to represent. The nearest possibility is dinner with family in the US (my family all lives within an hour or so of the Vermont border).

It's not like I'm going anywhere soon. But I do love to get postcards from people who travel!

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