Canadian citizenship questions are kinda funny

My friend Julia is getting ready to have her Canadian Citizenship test, as she’s tired of being merely a Permanent Resident, and now apparently wants to have more say in these taxes she’s been paying.

To that end, she’s received and is now reviewing the requisite materials for the test. (I offer you the list of questions she gave to me, unaltered, as a starting point.) As one might expect, the test has a number of questions that, yes, an average born-and-raised-in-Canada Canadian would flunk. (I would imagine the same is true of most countries.) Some of these are taken for granted, as just about everyone just accepts things as they are.

But some of these questions are … well, let’s say that they just scream for alternative answers.

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How to bring a pet into Costa Rica: Simplified

Okay, so a while back I was having kittens (pun intended) about bringing Asia into Costa Rica. Mostly because I simply could not seem to get a straight answer from anyone about the proper process. It was driving me batty.

So, to anyone bringing in their (small) dog or cat (this might also work for rabbits, but don’t expect success with gerbils or hamsters or any form of rodent; and it’s a one-way trip for all birds, you can’t take them out again) into Costa Rica, allow me to present the (current) process. It’s really easy.
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Bringing my cat into Costa Rica

We’re bringing Asia with us. Not the continent; she’s our cat. We don’t want to part with her. She’s a wonderful pet and truly part of the family. She was our first baby before Mi Niña Pequeña came along. Giving her up is just not an option.

Getting her through the border is the trouble. Mostly because there is no de facto source of information on how this is done properly. What I have found is confusing and very contradictory. For someone who is going to be spending 12 hours with an annoyed kitteh (LOLCat spelling) — she might be stuck in that cage the entire time — I need to know that getting into the country isn’t going to kill her.

Or me.

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The Last

Yesterday was a day of lasts.

The last train (finally, even if it was just an airport tram; I was thwarted from taking the airport express train by a completely bulletproof argument put forth by Amy that the bus was faster).

The last flight.

The last airport.

The last country.

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Crossing the Mongolia – China border by train

Attention Lonely Planet! You might want to update your information for the next run of your Trans Siberian Railway book, ‘cuz a few things have changed.

According to Lonely Planet, the crossing from Mongolia to China takes about seven hours, during which time you can get off, change money, eat at the restaurant, and so on. However, they seem to be only covering the case that you’re crossing the border during the day. If you take train #24 from Ulaan Baatar to Beijing, things are a little different…

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Crossing the Russia – Mongolia border by train

We knew this was going to be rough. We knew this was going to be long. It wasn’t as bad as we thought it might be, but it was still long.

We took Train 364 (formerly 264) from Ulan Ude to Ulaan Baatar. (The train itself runs Irkutsk to UB.) As we would find out, the whole train doesn’t go to Mongolia — only the cars that contain passengers going to Mongolia. We found this out when we got to the Naushki station, on the Russian/Mongolian border.

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