Slowing down…finally

Mrs. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I’m glad I’m not beating my wings this quickly:) it did feel like I was for awhile….well, maybe not, don’t think I could manage 1260 beats a minute or 21 beats a secound. So, whew…things are coming together, it seemed slowly, now all seems to be falling into place.

Importing and registering the truck and trailer here in Canada…that was a big thing. The dirty looks we get with the South Dakota license plates were real, in parking lots and elsewhere. We wrote “We are Canadian” on the dirty tailgate hoping to avoid any damage to the truck, we’d heard of vehicles that were keyed, people yelled at, told to “Go home”…crazy…those polite Canadians have turned vicious in protecting their border recently! 8 out of 10 want to keep the border closed at least until 2021.

At the border initially when we drove across the Customs agent just looked at us after I said I was a returning Canadian citizen and said “You’re going to have to figure that out later! Our offices are closed and we don’t know when they will reopen!”…okiedokie….After many calls to the CBSA, Canada Border Services Agency and Customs and ridiculous calls to US Customs Brokers we managed with the help of several incredibly nice Canadian Customs agents to deduce we needed to take the truck into Customs at the Ottawa airport. They even called the Ottawa airport and confirmed this for us:) Then we went in with the truck and all the paperwork. Bills of sale, titles, insurance, recall clearances, copies of what other trailers like ours sold for (for a price point as we bought them 4 years ago), red book value of the truck, etc etc etc…lots of paper. The gentleman behind the counter was very nice and apologized profusely but said, that yes, all those papers were exactly what they wanted but they needed to see the trailer as well to verify the V.I.N…OK, we can do that. “Just not Monday or Friday he warned! We are crazy busy those days.”:)

Next trip in, we hauled Myrtle, our 5th wheel home for the last 3 years, the back way into Ottawa to Canada Customs at the airport and I sat and waited my turn. I am always nervous in these places. A decade of worrying what my mother was smuggling, or trying to hide, firearms, pot, ammunition, endangered species, you name it, had us all pretty well conditioned to look down, only offer what was asked and pray to get the hell out without any problems…thanks Mom, you probably smuggled something into the afterlife;) I start to cough when I get anxious so cough drops to the rescue. It couldn’t have been a more pleasant experience, damn, these Canadians are just too nice:) I gave him all my paperwork, he looked out the window at the truck and trailer, typed in the information he needed, set a price for the truck and trailer, then told me what I owed in GST (General Sales Tax) taxes…I thought perhaps he’d made a mistake, was that a duty I asked? No, those are the taxes you owe…it was about a tenth of what I read I should be paying, what I was prepared to pay, and “Hang onto that receipt” he said smiling” You’ll need that as proof of tax payment when you go to get your licence plates so they don’t try to charge you again!” I smiled and paid, and thanked him profusely in Spanish and English and walked back to the truck wide eyed. “Nail it Mike, let’s get out of here before they change their mind!”

First hoop lept through nicely! We took the trailer and parked it back at Mike’s friend Wilson and Jane’s farm. Myrtle has a grand view of the Tay River and lovely black and white milking cows in lush green fields.

Secound hoop…We had to go to Canadian Tire Automotive Service to inquire about the R.I.V inspection. Registrar of Imported Vehicles. We spoke to a lovely lady, Daphne, yup that was her job she said. We’ll make an appointment and you can bring them in for inspection. So we did. Parked the two beside the building on a Sunday and Daphne came out with her pen and paperwork and checked the V.I.N. and weight and stickers, and tires and safety yadda,yadda,yadda…ticked off the boxes. Went upstairs, faxed it off, gave us confirmation, placed her stamps in the appropriate boxes and off we went, thinking, yeah, that is all we need….there is no manual for all of this…yet;)

Third hoop…off we went to Service Ontario ( the Canadian DMV) paperwork in hand, ready to get our Ontario plates, change our address, but…seems we needed a “safety” (wasn’t this covered in our RIV inspection? nope…another $99 for another piece of paper…) for the truck, and they both had to be weighed…sigh…Good thing we never took the hitch out of the truck;) Back to Canadian Tire after setting up an appointment, Safety in hand we headed to Arnott Sand and Gravel, and weighed the truck, the next weekday, we brought back the trailer, and just minused out the truck weight to get that figure…were we done? Finally?

Yes! Sort of, there was one glitch, I didn’t have an Ontario Drivers Licence…”But I used to have one” I told the lovely lady. “Well, that’s fine, that’s all I need!” she proclaimed, looked up my old number and off we went! 10 minutes later I walked out with Ontario plates for Hagrid and Myrtle. I was a bit confused again. I gave her the receipt the Customs man had said to hold onto as proof of taxes paid. She looked at it, wrinkled her brow, “Oh dear” I thought “I’m going to have to pay 8% provincial tax”..big long sad face from me….”You live here?” she asked…”Yes, of course” I answered, “Great” she said” no provincial tax then…” Did I mention I hurried out of there as well with my new found paperwork? hahahaha! So, our wonderful made in mexico truck that became American, now has become Canadian, I congratulated Hagrid on his new found citizenship, and Myrtle, poor dear, made in Indiana, now can claim she is Canadian as well!

So, odd but wonderful feeling to actually be Canadian again:) Saludos amigos, stay safe, be kind…except when you are driving Mike quipped, they can’t see you so you can swear at them…”In three different languages?” I asked..yup, he said…Reminds me of a meme I recently saw ” I don’t curse. I speak fluent trucker with a sailor dialect and a construction accent..” F*@king brilliant!

“Did she just swear in three languages? Awesome!”

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