Life is that tough… expecially for us immigrants…

On the first day of the Level Two of my French lessons, Victor didn’t appear in the class; on the second day, he didn’t appear either… I began to wonder what happened to him or if he would attend the Level Two finally? Because if there is one person that I like in this class, it is him.

Victor came from the United States; he was an interior decorator and he had his own business before. While chatting after the classes, he told me that before 2009, he was going very well. He had his own company; he hired six people to work for him; he had two apartments, a car, a woman, a cat; he was going upwards. But the recession came and therefore the property collapsed. 

From then on, he could not get new contracts and he could not collect the cash he was due either. He was in big debts and, finally, he was forced to declare bankruptcy. The bank repossessed his two apartments and he had to dismiss his workers. On top of that, he still owed a full two years worth of taxes to the U.S. Tax Department. So, at last, he came to Canada with his clothes and cat to try to build a new life. Ahhh, he came here also because he had gotten married to a Brazilian girl and she had been accepted to immigrate to Canada.

Sounds a little bit distressing? But he is such a nice guy. He told me “Well, yes, I lost everything. But during the recession a lot of people in the U.S. killed themselves and I am still alive today, which is not that bad.” He is always smiling, happy, warm. Everyday, when he sees me in the class, he sends me a big smile and he says “Hey, how are you, Miss Yuan?” with a warm tone. But today where is he?

At the recess, I saw him awaiting in the corridor. I was so happy to see him, “Hey, how are you? We miss you!” He smiled back weakly, “Ahh, really?”

He looked very low; he had not shaven himself and he did not really looked in good shape. He told me that he had been hopelessly trying to find a job these days because he desperately needed money. 

I asked him, “What kind of job you are looking for?”

He answered, “Anything, waiter, cleaner, worker… anything. As long as they can pay me cash, I need money.” 

But weeks before, he had told me that he had made a plan for himself; he wanted to go to a specialized school to study IT, and then find a job here in the IT industry. He was very optimistic at that time. But just weeks later, he was in deep panic and without any standards at all.

Life is that tough… expecially for us immigrants…

In fact, many Chinese international students’ living conditions are very poor here also if their parents are ordinary people in China. They can not find a job on the market and the only thing they can do is study; study and study at the universities. Usually, they get their Ph.D., then their Post-doctorate. 

Because if they don’t keep studying and if they can not find jobs they can not get any money. That is why we hear in the news, from time to time, that some Ph.D. killed himself; leaving his young wife and children behind because they could not take any more financial pressure and they simply lost themselves. 

I visited my friend’s home last week and I found that she and her husband, together with their two-years-old daughter, are living in a really bad situation. They live in a very old and dilapidated house. In fact, there are seven families living together in that house… Fortunately they have their own toilet and kitchen, but they only have one bedroom, so the child has to sleep with the parents.

As for the bedroom, well, it is also being used as the living room and dinner room. There is only one big bed and two rickety desks. In fact, when I visited I didn’t really have a place to sit. The kitchen is also very dirty and narrow. As I said to Jose, the pan we offered her seems to be the cleanest thing they have in the kitchen, which is unfortunately true. 

Jose said, “How can a child be living in such a bad situation? How can your friend be happy and content?” I don’t know. 

I have another friend who lives in the United States and her financial situation is even worse because she has two daughters and one son and all of the family; all five people are living together in a one bedroom apartment that costs 700 dollars a month, which is the most they can afford.

That friend had gone to the United States since I worked for RCG. In 2006, we had a supper together in Shanghai, and then they left for the United States. 

Six years later, their situation is worse and worse; the only comfort they get are their three children. But because of those three children, they can not go back to China anymore, they could not afford the education fee in China.

Nowadays, my friend has to stay at home and take care of her children because they don’t have enough money to send them to kindergartens, which is somehow quite surprising for me because both, my friend and her husband, graduated from the top Fu Dan university in Shanghai with master’s degrees. 

I don’t really believe that their situation would be worse than now if they had chosen to stay in China. But erhhh, what can I say, it was just to materialize her dream; she was always dreaming to become an “American mother”.

At least, this dream came true, now she has three American children.


19/11/2012 06:45 分类: 评论(0) 阅读()


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