Moving to BC has lots of moving parts. You have to get your car inspected (and approved) and then get your current registration, 2 pieces of primary ID, and the last 8 years of your car history report from your current insurance provider, then go to a broker to get your registration and insurance together, then surrender your plates and get new ones. Oh, and you have to do this within 30 days of moving here.
So, of course, I waited until the last minute because, well, adventures took precedence. Oh yeah, I also found a house and put an offer on it. That’ll be in an upcoming post, I promise.
I made my booking for my out of province inspection last week and showed up yesterday morning bright and early. I figured I would do everything before 11 and have a free day to myself. Yeah, that’s not how things happened.
First off, I drive a Scion Xb. Chances are you’ve never heard of one because they’re really rare. In fact, when I called Sirius Radio to set up the satellite radio in my car, the guy who answered my call told me there’s no such thing as a Scion and that I should “call my husband and ask him what kind of car I drive and then call back.” Let’s just say he won’t be talking to anyone like that again.
Back to the story.
I took my car to Canadian Tire and then waited for an hour to find out that my car failed the inspection due to the windshield. Not really a surprise as my little Scion had an entire windshield of rock chips and spidered breaks. I could see out of it, no problem, but it was definitely broken. Not what I wanted to hear but I could deal with it, right?
So I call the first place that came up when I googled – Speedy Glass and Jason answered. I told him my situation and he told me that it wasn’t a problem to replace… on Monday. I let him know that Monday would be outside of the 30 days since I’ve been here and I really hoped it could be done before then. He paused and then said “I’m going to try something. I’ll call you right back.” While I was waiting I made a couple more calls that the costs were more and the people didn’t seem as nice as Jason. I was super happy to hear him call back and magically, he was able to replace the windshield at between 11:30 and 1:30 on the same day. I thanked him a million times and then went to get my car back.
I grabbed my paperwork and had about an hour, so I met a Twitter friend and new transplant to the Comox Valley Aly (@alyssaGbird) at Mudsharks – one of my favourite Valley coffee shops. They have the BEST gluten free muffins in town. Aly and I chatted about moving from big cities to a small one (she’s from Toronto), freelance work, real estate, faerie gardens, and great coffee. She was super rad and we’re meeting to co-work together next week. I hated chatting and running but I had to bring my car to Jason.
I got to Speedy Glass and then walked to a restaurant I’ve never been before – Beachwood Cafe where I had the most amazing GF cabbage rolls I’ve had (they were honestly the size of my hand) and a cup of borscht. The waitress was amazing and told me it was fine to hang out there while my vehicle was being fixed and kept telling me not to worry about it. This happens a lot here.
I get my car and go to take it back to Canadian Tire to get approved and the place is a madhouse with customers so they don’t get to me before I have to go pick T up from school. So, I get Tenesea and then drive back where they have my paperwork for me. By this time, I was getting tired of driving back and forth and the whole process was making my head explode. I didn’t know if I needed to go to a registry place like in Edmonton or if I needed to go to a Government place as BC’s auto insurance is run by the province. It’s not laid out well when you have no idea. So, once you get your approval, you can go to any ICBC broker and get your license plates and insurance. I had to wait on the phone with ICBC to find this info out.
Imagine me…it’s 4 in the afternoon and I’ve already had a full day of running around, phone calls, and stress. By the time I found the brokerage I Googled – WayPoint Insurance and liked because their logo looks kind of like a butterfly, I was exhausted. Doesn’t help that Tenesea was in a playful mood and didn’t want to be in an insurance broker’s office at all. She was fidgeting and annoyed which didn’t help my mood. Half hour into setting up insurance, I found out that it normally takes over an hour, so I started panicking as I needed to pick up Azalee from daycare. I was not in a good place mentally, but thankfully the person who helped us – Tammy, was patient, understanding, and super compassionate. She could tell that I was really stressed out and tried her best to move things along and throw in a few jokes along the way.
Tammy came out of the office to help me take my current plates off and replace them with the new ones. I asked her if she did this often and she said no, she simply wanted to help me. We got the front plates all good to go and then realized we had a real issue with the back plates – the screws were plastic and really stuck into the back of the car. The left side screw broke off inside the car the other one wouldn’t budge. By now, I was so close to tears. Everything felt so overwhelming. I ended up grabbing a few guys who had parked by me to see if they could help at least get the plate off as they had to be surrendered while I was there. We got the plate off but now both screws were stuck in the car and I couldn’t get the new plate on. I was told I could put it visible on the passenger side of the dash to get home and to get it fixed.
I ugly cried the entire way home. The windshield was expensive, paying the next year of car insurance was expensive, I was running super late to pick up Azlee and to top it all off, the damn license plate was smacking itself against my dash as I drove. I was so done.
I’d almost forgot that I’d booked a babysitter to go to a meeting that night and her mom (Lindsay) was messaging me to ask if I could come and pick Pheonix up as they had unexpected company. I pulled over and gave her a quick call. Through tears, I managed to tell Lindsay about the issue with my license plate and that I was way too exhausted to go to my meeting. Without pausing, she said “come to my house and I’ll take care of this for you. You don’t need to worry. We’ll get this figured out. Just get here.” Normally, wouldn’t accept help but I said yes and made my way there.
A soon as I got to her home, her husband Mike offered to help and got right to it. Within minutes he figured out how to get my license plate on I was good to go.
Overall it was a crappy, crappy stressful day but even in my worst moments, these amazing rainbows showed up. Jason who got the windshield replaced in my rare car within hours, Aly who made me laugh and gave me a break from the chaos, Teri who went out of her way to help and even threw some elbow grease into it, and Lindsay and Mike who felt like angels when I was ugly crying and without a clue on what to do.
The right people always show up at the right time. I feel very, very happy to live such a magical life where I can ask and receive with gratitude. Jason, Aly, Tammy, and Lindsay and Mike – words can not express how grateful I am for your kindness yesterday. I promise to pay it forward.
Bravely Chasing Rainbows Forward