APPLYING FOR OHIP NOT TOO PAINFUL...My mother, my father, and I went downtown on the 86 bus yesterday just after noon. I had come across the building with the Ontario Health Insurance Plan during my first troddle around downtown as an Ottawa resident on New Year's Day (which I never got around to writing about). It was in the eastern part of downtown somewhere, but I'm still very shaky on street names. I was scared my father might ask me to find it again, only to have me try and find it in the nearest phonebook. But he knew that it was on Albert, about a block east of the World Exchange Plaza, where I saw The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou over the weekend.
My sister had told us to be prepared to be sitting around for hours, so I brought my travel bag, in which I put many things, including my little Casio television, my Gameboy Advance, my CD player, and the French version of volume 6 of the Gals! manga, which I bought at Chapters the other day. But it took us only a couple of minutes to get the forms, which we then filled out. The forms weren't too difficult, for the most part, except there were a few YES/NO questions, followed by a question that was something like "Have you recently been discharged from the Canadian Armed Forces or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?", to which the answer in my case is "No", not being an ex=serviceman or an ex-policeman, however, for whatever weird reason, the two possible answers were reversed to NO/YES, and I accidentally checked "YES", since it was where I thought "NO" would be located. I had to put the X in "NO" and blotted out the "YES" box completely to make it obvious it was a mistake. I was afraid that bureaucrats would be bureaucratic and interrogate me on that item since both the "YES" and "NO" boxes were filled out in one way or another, but I guess they weren't being nitpicky that day and they could tell that I just made an honest mistake because they didn't say anything. The other minor problems I had filling out the form were that I still don't know my own postal code, but I got my father to tell it to me, and there wasn't enough spaces for me to put my full Quebec Health Insurance number, so I had to write two digits in a "Do Not Write" area.
After filling out the forms, we sat down and took a number, and assumed that we'd be staring at the "Now Serving" number indicator thingie for hours, but, surprisingly, we were served in less than 15 minutes. I didn't even bother opening Gals!. I guess my sister just went at a really busy time of year like September when she applied for her OHIP card. We presented our necessary documents, where we encountered the only real snag of the day: one of us, and I won't say who, didn't have her passport... oh, wait, "her" kind of gives it away, doesn't it? :P So my mother has to come back some other day, but my father and I filled out the signature for the card and then posed for the photo. That's it. Rather painless.
We stopped by the World Exchange Plaza for a "potty break" after (and bought stamps and bus tickets while we were there), and then just went home. I still want to see some of the movies I didn't get around to seeing at Christmas, like Lemony Snickets, but I wasn't really in a movie mood yesterday.
Something else that happened yesterday was that our father was trying to get our older golden retreiver-mix dog, Luke, who is about 7½ years old, to come downstairs to get him out of the way while he let our other dog, Sam the black Labrador-mix, on the leash out back, and we realized that, in the over three weeks since moving here, Luke hadn't come to the basement once. He was just frightened of the stairs, which are a little bit steeper than those at the old house in Pincourt. I had to grab him by his collar and drag him downstairs, but, once he was down, he had a wonderful time exploring our rather large basement with lots of nooks and crannies (which I describe better in the moving article I still haven't finished). He needed a bit of pushing to get him back UP the stairs after, but, once he had gone down and back up once, it was clear that he had gotten over his fear and last night he was just following me around the basement so much that it got a bit annoying. I think the novelty has worn off by now, though, since he's upstairs. I guess last night he just hung around me because I didn't go to bed until very late (like usual).