Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

It's official! I am a legal alien again!

Yep, that's right. For the past 5 months I have in fact been an illegal alien in this country (yay!), illegally working to receive pay (yay!) and illegally paying taxes to both federal (boo!) and provincial (hiss) governements. Now I have in my grubby little paws a lovely colourful piece of paper complete with shiny holographic stickers that says I am allowed to stay and do all of the above for the next 6 months. If i want to stay longer I have to apply for permanent residency - another administrative merry-go-round if ever there was one. Highlights on the form include lisintg every address I have lived at since I was 18!

However, should I decide not to stay on at my job that would mean only another 6 months left in Montreal, which feels kind of weird. 6 months in my mind mentally represents a short time.... 7 months sounds a lot more than 30 days longer. I don't know if I'm excited or saddened by the news, it's a very confusing feeling. For all the times I've moaned about things in Quebec or the way things are done over here in North America, Montreal has become my home. It'll be very strange living in a new place as I feel there are few cities that could rival Montreal for its diversity and exuberance in almost all aspects of life.

Also, this would be the first time that leaving somewhere will actually mean leaving and all my farewells to my friends would, in the most part, be final farewells. I'm not likely to bump into anyone in the street nor am I likely to pop over often to say hi to folks. It's a very sobering thought that there are some people who I would never, ever, see again. It's choking me up a little even just thinking about it and I'm not even close to having left yet. I think it'd be inevitable that I'd return, but who's to say who would still be around.

Oh well, such is life, and I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.