School has started, so posting might become a bit more sporadic while I madly try to finish writing up my lectures. Sigh. Why must procrastination be more appealing than being organized and responsible? I also blame school for significant decrease in knitting output.

I was recently in Halifax, Nova Scotia to pay my respects to the American Consulate. As a non-US citizen, I sometimes have to jump through many (paranoia-inducing!) hoops to please the good people at the USC1S, aka useless. Just kidding, USC1S!

A few observations (probably skewed) –

  • There sure are a lot of Chinese scientists who want to work in the United States. And a lot of them can’t really speak English.
  • You will get shouted at by the consular officer for “interfering” if you attempt to help said Chinese scientists by interpreting instructions for them.
  • You will spend several minutes cooling your heels while official looking people slowly thumb through bunches of paper where you prove your lawful existence. And that you are not a demented criminal.
  • When the consular officer raises her eyebrows while perusing your third-world issued passport, you will get very, very nervous.
  • Tragically, the only reading material available inside the consulate is propaganda produced by the Department of Energy on how they are making your lives better!
  • I’m not quite sure what to make of exchanges such as this –
    Grumpypants consulate security person (GCSP): Where’s your form xxA, form xxB, and your receipt?
    Me: Here. The instructions on the website said I didn’t have to present form xxB.
    GCSP: You can speak English. We like that.
    Me: <blink, blink>

The upside of all this was that Halifax was gorgeous! The weather was lovely. The people I met were super friendly and interesting. There was an intense discussion on the place of the words “dude” and “dudette” in the English lexicon. There were men in kilts! There was a cannon fired at noon everyday by those crazy Canadians.

purty

citadel

kilty

cannon

And best of all, I discovered poutine! It’s basically french fried potatoes with gravy and cheese curds. A heart attack on a plate, but so so good.

heart attack on a plate

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In other news, I got nominated by yarn enabler Amy for this:

rockin!

Awww…Thank you, Amy! In the spirit of the award, I’m supposed to nominate other rockin’ blogging girls. Most everyone I know has already been nominated, so I pass this on to YOU! Y’all are awesome for stopping by!

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