Monday, October 26, 2015

Akimbo in Limbo : 2 months after immigration

The One-month milestone is bearable; almost gratifying. It reflects how much you have achieved within 30 days of landing in a foreign country with nothing but the clothes on your back and (and backpacks). You have an apartment on rent, you have learnt how to use the transport system in Toronto, can even decipher the cryptic transfer system, and have almost figured out East from West. Your child is going to school and you have almost all the documentation in place. You now own a dustbin and a mop, and other minor household items you used to take for granted before you left everything and switched countries. What makes these baby achievements a huge source of pride is that you still have some money left in the bank - the money that you brought with yourself after liquidating every small and large asset that you had. The one-month milestone is also the perfect excuse to justify your unemployment. 'It has only been a month since I've come here' is the thought that lets you sleep at night.

But beware, the 2-month landmark is not far away. It creeps in on you before you have had time to blink. Once 2 months have passed, you still have that apartment and you still have the superpower to commute. But you are also 'still' gloriously unemployed and your bank account has fast depleted. There is nothing to guard you from the friendly Canadians who find pleasure in instilling the fear of the impending winters. This is the period of misery before the misery; the storm before the real storm. The fear of losing everything and having nothing. 

Why are employers not lined up to welcome someone as smart as me? Where did all the money go when I have only bought the bare necessities [a turntable is an absolute necessity]? How will I survive far beneath sub zero temperatures without a $800 down parka and a heated car? Where do I go from here? These are just some random questions that start living in your exhausted mind almost permanently. 

I came here for a better life. I came here so that no-one would stare at my boobs if I walked down the street without a dupatta. I came here to be safe from terrorists. Now if I have to stay here and survive, I need to keep myself safe from myself. Hopelessness comes and goes, as does hope. And then I tell myself, it's only been two months. It's only been two months. It's only been two months.