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カテゴリ:10.Waiting( 1 )
Waiting for the extension of my visitor status at Richmond
It was the end of June that Leslie drove me to the apartment in Richmond. Before that, Tony already moved to the place with his friend's and my help. Our rent was 3 rooms in 3 stories each, and I was supposed to pay $450 a month (the half of the rent) and was already paid half the deposit of $450. Tony said the second floor with a bedroom and bathroom is mine. The third floor was smaller and without a bath and closets, but the shower and washroom beside the bed was more convenient for him to take care of his son, he said. Later, I noticed that his son was entering an elementary school that year; from my common sense it was unbelievable that a father takes a washroom with his 7 year-old son.
The first floor was living kitchen, but as if Tony's room with his desk and computers. However, I didn't complain about it because on top of offering the better room he allowed me to use his bed in my room in addition to utensils, TV and so on in the living kitchen. He was always changing the arrangement of the living and his room, and the living was gradually occupied by his and his son's goods instead of his work tools. He was still keeping displaying photographs with his wife in the living.
Funny thing was he kept staying overnights at his wife's home close by. He frequently appeared the apartment and we opened the door to a small front yard to smoke. He usually threw away the cigarette butt in public, though here put it into an ashtray can. His tale was always about his wife; he was always shadowing the wife and her Caucasian lover with having quarrels and troubles, despite the fact that he was preparing for a trial. I advised him that everything has finished already and you should have to stop chasing her, but he couldn't. He was a bad loser.
He invited me and the wife's home-stay girl with the wife and his son to go to a farmers' festival outskirts of Richmond. Actually, we had no choice except follow him by his force. With our assistance he must have wanted to pretend a husband and wife only to share a chilly air of them.
Sometimes he said to me, "Now Mei-san (the wife) disposed me, I have to succeed in my business to make her envy me." However, the Internet project for which I gave him a blue-print has not been proceeded at all until later. Whenever it came to this subject he mentioned, "I'll make it soon," though. I wondered where his eagerness of the business has gone.
He had difficulty in keeping the ends to meet; in other words, the great amount of the family's income was earned by the wife. He frequently changed his job but kept a part-time staff of Vancouver airport. He said many jobs in Canada were less salaries than in Japan and the job opportunities were less as well. When I mentioned that Canada was the only country increased GNP among G7 countries recently under the world recession, he merely couldn't believe it. Later, however, I came to know the figure was mainly brought by foreign investments for immigration and for tourism as well as English studies.
When arriving at Canada I felt Tony's English was proficient, but staying with him had me aware that his English was rather primitive and with a lot of grammatical mistakes. As a matter of fact, he confessed he couldn't write long letters. He was keeping using the caption on TV. That means over 7 years stay in Canada didn't improve his English enough. One of the reasons why he was having difficulty to get a high-salary work might be caused by his English ability. However, on the other hand Mei could obtain regardless of her limited English. Tony kept claiming that if a person had real ability skills he/she could success here in Canada.
However, I began to feel an anxiety for my not progressed English to use at an established Canadian ad agency if I got. I was and am confident in my ability as creative director, but it is one thing and the company matters are another. It seemed like better way to establish myself as self-employ; not only advertising but also other area were amateur level and establishing a company was by far easier and cheaper than in Japan.
This way, I made up my mind to do business by myself. To know the market and to complete my another ambition as photographer, I wanted to re-start my travel as soon as possible and changing my route to the Northernmost areas where the original people of Canada live. The summer in canada is short and the only time to travel north.
However, in spite of my calling the Immigration Office again and again the procedure of my visitor status' extension was being delayed mainly because a lot of foreigners applied in a same way for entering institutes which start terms in September. Without the permission I never could leave, because I couldn't receive their mails on the way even though if declined I should have to leave Canada immediately.
The precious summer time was being wasted in such a stupid matter. If Mr Saito notified me well in advance or if I crossed the boarder, such a waste of time shouldn't happen. I was in stuck, so to use this time usefully I wrote my half life in Japan in English for the photos I took in Japan. That work, UTSUROI (Transition Japan), was completed in one month.
Meanwhile, my only fun was the exploration for tasty food. I found the best Halibut Fish and Chips at "Legends Pub" nearby. After my ordering with a beer saying, "I'll leave everything to you," to a Caucasian waitress, she got it with a fresh salad. The fry was just wonderful. When my leaving asking for seeing the person cooked the fry, a young guy wearing T-shirt on appeared. He had tattoos on his arms.
Another my favourite restaurant was "Sakae Japanese Restaurant," which was just near the apartment. Run by a Japanese lady, it offered absolute Japanese dishes with good Sakes. Whenever I checked the bills, with drunk I in spite of myself put down large tips. I always had to pay a lot of money, so later I refrained myself from going there.
The hot weather made me want to eat a "Reimen" (a cold spicy noodle in Japanese), which is popular at Korean restaurants in Japan especially in summer. Having got information from a Korean classmate where to eat it, I searched for the restaurant he recommended on Robson street in Downtown. However, a Korean waitress in the more like Canadian decoration said they didn't offer a "Reimen," and suggested me to go to Coquitlam where a lot of Korean restaurants existed.
Another day, I took a bus and Sky Train from Richmond to Coquitlam. The name of the station was forgot. Although I walked along a main street, there was only one restaurant which seemed to have "Reimen" in their menu and it looked like expensive. I knew in japan the "Remen" were expensive, though I was so accustomed to cheap Chinese food here that I wanted that kinds of Korean. Finally I found kind of a public market with a few restaurants, one of which was Korean.
Asking if it was available showing Hangul (Korean alphabet) written by my Korean classmate, I found they stopped it recently because there were few orders for it here. The middle-aged owner-wife, I suppose, suggested an alternative one that is not spicy though. It was offered using an authentic steel bowl, in which the transparent cold soup was well covered with meat and peach and something on top of the thin white-like noodle.
How sweet! How tasty! This is the Korean cold noodle, this is the summer! I no longer wanted the "Reimen" I had pursued. That graceful harmony of excellent tastes in each had me naturally eat up to the end. I thought I added another repertory for choosing Korean food, but sadly I can't remember the name now.
It was among those days that Tony sent our apartment Peter and Charlie. According to Tony, the couple were the share-mates of his previous apartment; they had returned to Hong Kong but somehow were coming to Canada again. Peter was said originated from India and spoke 5 languages. Until they find their apartment, Tony said, he would do a favour for a room for he was still keeping staying overnights at the wife's house. He said Charlie would cook meals for me in return of our favour.
Peter spoke Kantonese and English at least. However, their story was completely different from Tony's: according to them, in spite of telling that they would come back, Tony gave up the shared apartment for his own sake to come here. Consequently, they lost their place and had to seek for a new apartment; they alleged that they were victims for him so staying my apartment was as a matter of course. She was far from comfortable to cook even for themselves.
One day arriving home, I found in the living a stranger was talking in fluent English with Peter and Charlie eagerly. They introduced him, Tony, to me. They are planning to establish a new clothes company. Such a venture story seemed very common among immigrants.
Showing my ad works in japan, the Tony said, "I'll buy you, let's do a business together." And then, he and Peter showed me three designs for their brand logo made by a designer. My choice quite agreed with his, and he invited me to the next meeting with their apparel designers.
His family was the overseas Chinese and immigrated from Viet Nam when he was child. He has been being employed by an apparel company but wanted to be independent. The designers names were told Jonathan and Michelle, so I imagined Caucasians but they were from the Philippines and spoke English very fluently. Upon hearing that Jonathan wanted to choose another design at a Chinese restaurant we gathered, Tony easily changed his opinion despite the fact that Jonathan's choice was for his own sake in that they were supposed to OEM their designs.
The clothes designs and also the concept of the company seemed not original enough to break. Seeing Tony's irresolute attitude with his father beside, I wondered if this man could lead his business to succeed. When we gathered Jonathan's home to make arrangements on their business cards, he was beside himself with his baby to take care and wanted to bring him back home as soon as possible.
Later I heard his plan has stopped because of short of funds; this failure seemed the second for him and due not to keep investments from others. He expected get lucky twice seeing a success of his employer. Such business followers are uncountable in canada.
Around the end of June, Mr Saito brought a couple of Japanese here. They were succeeding in immigration paying extravagant money for the federal government and searching for a house to purchase around Vancouver. Since Tony was still away at nights, he expelling Peter and Charlie offered his room to the couple and the living to Mr Saito.
I reported to Mr Saito that I failed to get all 7 score in IELTS again: I still remained in 6. He didn't mention the immigration interview that he had suggested it take place the summer. I was announced upon arriving Canada by him that I passed the screening by examining my documents on condition to re-submit a higher IELTS score. Mr Saito continued to say whenever the Immigration Office may require you the re-submission.
However, what Mr Saito said was not persuasive not only because he changed what he said to extend my visitor status but because the interview in summer seemed not to occur. Besides, I was at a loss repeating the same IELTS score despite of my hard study in this English environment. I thought I had no means to improve my English any more than using in daily life; in order for me to practice, practice, and practice, I only wanted to travel across Canada.
I had no choice than that to use English practically, since they prohibited me to work with visitor status and doing so illegally, Mr Saito said in Japan, risks my immigration. However, speaking this matter this time, he said, "You should have worked to some extent even when saying it is illegal." What? What he says is always great contradiction; nevertheless, I still believe in him because he was the person who made me come to Canada. At the Sakae Japanese Restaurant, I treated Mr Saito, the couple of Japanese, Tony and myself paying $240.
When I said to Mr Saito that I was going to continue my searching across Canada but I was in stuck for the delay of permission, he referred to nothing about that but, "Please give me a higher IELTS score." I promised to keep in touch with him by emails during my travel, in case the interview or something was notified so that I could return to Richmond for it. His expectations so far, however, always proved wrong so I began to take little of what he says.
After they returned to Japan, Peter and Charlie were back to move their stuff; they finally found an apartment. All of what Tony brought from the previous apartment were Peter and Charlie's. Ordering those stuff speaking with them, Tony excitingly told, "As soon as I got the compensation from Mei I'll buy a house and move out here!" He, at the same time, also repeated that under the Canadian law the court was to conclude within one year, which was the contract term of our apartment contract.
He was sure that upon finishing the contract he would leave here; however, he used screws on every walls to damage which should influence the return of our deposit when we go out. Hearing my travel plan, Peter and Charlie were concerned if I might lose my room in the same way as them. I couldn't believe what they told about their losing apartment yet, though surly Tony was always behaving on the spot without plan without any visions and forgot almost everything soon after he had done.
Charlie was being furious of Tony, and even claimed Tony to compensate a cord that he lost. On the other hand, Tony claimed that they took back what they had given him when leaving Canada for Hong Kong. Later Charlie told me that she had said to Tony, "You can use our stuff freely." She never recovers her trust on Tony ever since. Later I came to have the same notion on him, which I didn't realise at all then.
The Immigration Office's answer on the phone was ambiguous. Whenever I called and with great difficulty with the busy line, which was the only access to them, they replied mine was before the process. However, my accounting of my specific situation, in which I had to stay in my apartment to receive a result, made some personnel say that I should be able to phone them as long as I am in Canada. Even though they didn't issue the permission yet, they sounded, "You can let you go."
Now, however, the precious summer time was becoming into the latter part; I resigned myself to heading for the Northernmost districts using airplanes. Instead, I started searching for a used car for going and coming Canada. I was really surprised at very expensive prices even on over 10 years and 100,000 km cars which are commonly to be scrapped in Japan. I gave it a second thought of what the value of a car. Finally, I bought a 1992 SUBARU LEGACY WGN 2.2L which run over 180,000 km for $5718.55 including tax. Canada press really high taxes even on tourist who can't benefit from; the car itself was $4,900!
The seller was without mechanics and told me they couldn't offer any warranties but could help with me. Soon I noticed strange sounds when turning steering. I suspected the front drive-shafts which is the crucial part of this car, but had no time for being in a hurry for trip. Fortunately, Richmond SUBARU's front lady gave me a favour to replace those immediately. When the car returned to me, it was middle of August already.
by tetsu95jp | 2007-12-12 09:26 | 10.Waiting