I've now been in Vancouver just a bit over 24 hours. It seems that I've accomplished a fair bit. If only I had a chair, I'd be all set.
Flew Boston to Chicago to Vancouver, departing 7:15 AM and arriving 12:53 PM. Flights were uneventful and on time. Got to click the "Immigration" button when I came through customs. Very exciting -- never done that before. This meant I got to talk to an extra person who pretty much asked me what I did and then told me to get my luggage and go to the door marked Immigration.
OK, that sounds pretty straight forward.
Sadly, the line for work permits and student entry was loooong and slow. It took an hour and a half to get to the guy who basically takes your paperwork and gives you a number. Then it took another half hour to get to the (incredibly friendly and helpful) guy who looks at the paperwork, asks a few questions, and tells you to sit back down while he creates your work permit. Then a half hour later you have your work permit. You go pay the cashier and voila, you are now a US Citizen who is allowed to work -- in my case, at UBC.
Next it was off to Hertz to pick up my rental car (I figured a car this week would be super handy as I bought all the necessities that I wasn't having shipped and/or couldn't live without for the next one to two weeks). That too was uneventful, and then I headed "home" (aka, the postage stamp sized apartment).
Note to self: always bring toilet paper.
Was very dehydrated and hungry (hadn't realized how long the work permit was going to take and once you start, there is no where to go and by the time I finished, I just wanted to get out of the airport). So, five minute walk to the store to buy water in lots of different form factors, water bottle (since I cleverly forgot mine in Lincoln), and something I could eat with out utensils and/or plates -- I do however have a paring knife and a cutting board. I bought cheese and an avocado; haven't touched the avocado yet. Drank a lot of water and fizzy water.
Then I did some unpacking -- also somewhat tricky since I have no where to put the things I was unpacking. However, I did put my bed together -- yes, I brought a bed with me -- a nice queen size inflatable Aerobed with bedding, but no pillows. So, the local costco (there are two Costcos within about a 25 minute drive) is open until 8:30. What better way to spend my first evening then a trip to Costco! Turns out that Thursday night at Costco is a big deal -- it was super busy, but the checkout lines were of reasonable length. I bought a bunch of other household things including pillows and a blanket and then food. Continuing in the, "What can I eat with no utensils?" game, we settled on: salmon jerky, smoked salmon (I am in Canada after all), cherries, blackberries, and raspberries, granola (which can be eaten out of the glasses I bought), almond milk, tuna snacks, and more cheese. I managed to turn that into something resembling dinner when I got back.
Rest of the evening involved trips to the car, arranging stuff and then falling to sleep reasonably quickly.
Woke up too late this morning to join my 6 am conference call with my Harvard Forest/Mt. Holyoke peeps, but I think they'll forgive me. Wandered out for coffee and Internet (I was getting sporadic Internet in the apartment from eduroam and ubcguest, but wanted something a bit more reliable). Then off to the community center for my community ID and gym membership and then my next shopping spree: Bed, Bath, and Beyond -- a store I had never set foot in until a couple of weeks ago when I took Teagan for dorm stuff. Picked up a few more apartment essentials there, came back, and then immediately headed out to a research group reading group meeting!
After that, I grabbed poke for lunch with a colleague (at the poke place in our building ;-), checked out my office (pictures next time), and dashed back to meet the Internet installer. She too was amazingly pleasant and helpful and before I knew it, I had 5G working from the comfort of my apartment.
So, it feels like it's been a rather productive 24 hours. Now it's off to Friday afternoon social with the networking and secure systems research group.