Thursday, May 18, 2017

Immigration has it's traps

I've been writing about my emigration for the last 6 years (more or less), I have tried my best to translate the old posts from the original blog to English but they don't make much sense unless you come from a similar place in the world, with similar views and problems, my posts are very -how should I put this- reflective of my point of view of the world and my feelings at the time.

So forgive me as you go trough this bumpy journey of my adventures before and now melted into one post, but I hope that you can appreciate the experience and information I share.

Post from 2010 our first Summer here:

I try to think of myself as a very down to Earth, realistic person.
Once you decide to immigrate and start fighting your way trough years of bureaucracy and paper work,hoping and waiting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,all you can think about is how you will be ok and happy and relieved when you finally get here...What you don't know is this is when the actual fight and problems start, and all that paper filling and waiting, as it turns out, was not a big deal.
There are a lot of things you won't like once you immigrate to Canada, there are things that will hurt to accept ( and it will hurt a lot)especially if you don't come from US or perhaps Germany, if you come from a third world country you will feel what it means to start from 0.

I call us immigrants in the first year zero's,
because we do not exist in this country,we are not in the system, in the first months you will have no access to covered healthcare and the banks will shun you since you are not in their files either,no credit ratings lol,and most of the time we start from 0. This means your outside of Canada education is 0 here unless you were so lucky to have listened all of your school subjects in English, your driving experience is 0 (at least in the eyes of your future car insurance which will give you rates 5 times bigger than locals),your Canadian work experience (sooo necessary to get a job here)is 0 as well, your bank credit score is 0,and let's hope your language skills are not 0 because this will make your life really hard.
Add to this that the number of people I knew in Canada was 0 at the time I decided to immigrate.
The number of people who could help us here if we got in trouble (financially or otherwise) was 0 too.

You start (well, most of immigrants at least) as one big fat 0.First year is no job, no money, a lot of hopes and effort and for most in the first 2-3 months 0 success.
You won't like this at all.This is the first trap for you, high expectations.

The second one is not knowing yourself or your partner enough, the stress of immigration and being cut from the family and relatives changes how people feel, this sadness and the rest of the problems creates tensions and arguments.After a while being stuck or degraded from what you had, and where you were before you decided to come will bother either you or your partner, and none of you will like this.
You might blame the other person for your situation, you might say that out loud and turn on each other.But here is the catch, if we ever did that, we would be lost.There was no one else except the 2 of us to fight this battle for our child, and unless we worked together there was no way we could move forward, not a bit.

The third for me was the Canadian Winter.I had Winter before, usually it lasted from November till March, there was a lot of snow and cold and so on, I thought I can deal with Winter here...well, I was wrong.
I can't, and I hate it, it feels like it lasts forever and it ends sometime in June, there is no Spring for me, just a skip from Winter to Summer.But the more Canadian I become the more I understand the meaning of us being proud of our dealing with this season, yes it sucks big time, but it lights up when a neighbor cleans your walkway for you just to show they care, or when kids snuggle with hort chocolate watching a game on neighborhood ice rink we all helped to build, or when you let moms park on your drive way to drop off kids just because you live by the school...So, Winter is more Canadian than anything.

The fourth trap is the worst one.It is your assumption that this experience will not change who you are.
It will change you, it will change how you feel,it will change what you do for living and it will change what your life goals are.
If you ever decide to immigrate, please be aware of this- Immigration will break you to pieces, then it will be up to you to find the pieces that work and are acceptable in this culture and keep them, and you might find that some other things such as bad habits,some memories, cultural things and behaviors should be left in the corner.
Here is one thing I had to adjust to.In Eastern Europe, when you meet someone and he asks you "how are you?" it is quite ok to actually tell the truth, if you are sick, or have a headache or have been feeling not so well -you can share that with the person who asked the question, you can even complain a bit and he or she will nod their head in understanding and try to say something nice to comfort you.
Well, not here, unless you are seeing a nurse or a doctor, if you start complaining the person will look at you as though they are uncomfortable, all they wanted to hear is the usual "Fine , thank you" not your personal medical history and whining,in this culture you are oversharing and your personal things should stay that way, especially at work!

No comments: