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sobota, 27 lipca 2013
24 years ago I landed at the Mirabel Airport in Montreal.

24 years ago I landed at the Mirabel Airport in Montreal. I stepped out of the building to grab a quick smoke into my nicotine deprived system and before I even had a chance to light up I inhaled this hot, sticky, humid substance in my lungs, I was like WTF?!!! (don't tell me this terminology didn't exist in 1989) - This is how babies must feel when they take their first gulp of air - and then they scream. Thus began my life. In Canada. For the next year I was in the constant state between WTF and OMG. I don't think I uttered a single LOL until 1990. I was stumbling on my wobbly immigrant feet, bubbling something incoherently, smiling like an idiot behind the midnight shift counter of the Baker's Dozen Donuts on Main and Church in Brampton giving free coffee to every bum that visited at 3 in the morning so I wouldn't be so desperately lonely. Main and Church was inhabited by some colourful dwellers of the local rooming houses. And I remember every single one of them. There was Brian, young kid from Newfoundland, wanted a better life - ended up on drugs. An old, rowdy Portuguese guy - Johnny, who complained that his daughter in law kicked him out, I would probably too but free coffee Johnny got. In the morning he would go to the paper box, put a looney in and brought the Toronto Sun for every person inside.

There was Albino - sad story - he was the sole surviver of a horrible car crash that killed several teenagers in Caledon Hills in the 80's. There was Tanya, she told me that she was sent here by the secret service and her job was to protect me. Of course she would get a free coffee for her commendable service. And there was Ronny - who would politely ask the male customers if anyone would grant him sexual favours in the bathroom. Nobody would. Right across the street was The John Howard Society so quite the company I had. There were a few really nasty characters too, but I had my buddies to protect me. And of course every morning there would be this creepy guy - Mike, getting his medium coffee with double milk - and of course he would never be happy with the way I made it. Teresa, wasn't much more successful in satisfying the grump. Anyways after a year at that place I spoke fluent English and I was ready for my Citizenship test. 

When I go to Brampton now and I see the ICICI Bank in the place where I took my trial of fire I feel a personal insult. Like WTF, shouldn't they have a statue there or something?! And free donuts in my honour for everybody!