Thursday, 21 April 2011


Ah, the routine bloodwork, it comes up every once in a while. The first step is to fast for ten hours. On the one hand, not eating for ten hours hardly seems like a fast, it's a bit of a low-key one, on the other hand, I find not eating during the evening much harder than it should be.

So having done that, I tried to go to the lab place as early as possible. It opens at 06.30, so I'm there at 06.40. I'm number 30. The small waiting room is packed full of mostly Chinese people wearing pyjamas and Uggs. And for some reason, it seems that the ones who have been sent to have their blood tested, are the ones who speak no English. The woman on the desk has infinite patience, explaining over and over again the most simple things, like 'take a number and sit down'. Some have had the foresight to bring a friend or two, one of whom may speak a little English, but this naturally has the effect of making the room even more full.

And it turns out that under Canada's Constitution, although as a country we have two official spoken languages (plus International Sign Language), any Province or Territory apart from Québec, Manitoba and New Brunswick, are allowed to have whichever and however many official languages they like and they don't have to include English or French. The three aforementioned can also increase their number of official languages, but French and English must be two of them.
Thank-you Kevin for that, the link I mean, I know you're not responsible for this bizarre constitutional anomaly.

In the meantime however, before BC announces that Cantonese and Mandarin are its official languages, at which point it'll make not a blind bit of difference, since there are signs that have only Chinese on them anyway, and Canadians are notoriously bad at being told what to do, things are being right royally held up because of the language barrier.

The jhumming and boshing of the neighbours' house has now been going on for over two weeks, I think they could have re-built it in less. It has, however, been going on for so long that the dog no longer takes any notice of the noise. Small and meagre mercies.

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