Dear Diary – Page 100 (1975)

Continued from Dear Diary – Page 99

I showed them my documents which confirmed that I had been approved as a landed immigrant but, for some reason, they felt it necessary to question it. “Where have you come from? Where are you going? Where’s your family? Where did you live in England? Is anybody meeting you here?”

The cross-examination was quite intense, and I was not exactly feeling my best. I was also very tired due to the 5 hour time difference. In fact I was so tired, and as a lot of their questions were answered on the forms, I contemplated telling them to read the damn forms, but thought better of it!

Then they suggested that I relocate to the Vancouver area because there were minimal job opportunities for Technical Sales people in the Toronto area. I explained that I was not in Technical Sales, at which point everything came to a stop. They asked me to stay there (where could I go?) while they brought somebody else into the room.

This gentleman asked me what I did for work in England. I told him that I was a Buyer for a heavy engineering company. We chatted about that for a few minutes, and then he explained that according to my landed immigrant papers, I was in Technical Sales. He was very good in that he did not see it as a serious issue, and suggested that the Immigration man in Birmingham must have really wanted us to come to Canada because approval, or not, was based on a points system. Apparently Technical Sales carried more points than a Buyer in engineering!

My partner’s uncle was supposed to be meeting me in Toronto, but the time was now around 8:00pm (1:00am to my body), and where would I find him? I got all my luggage pieces together and wandered around a relatively quiet lounge area when I realized that I was in a Departure lounge. I don’t know to this day how I got from Customs and out onto the wrong floor, but I managed it somehow. I found my way to Arrivals but could not see anybody who was obviously waiting for somebody so, in desperation, I went to an Information kiosk and they announced my presence over the pa system!

At last, we met and made our way to his car. On the way out of the airport and to their home, I was very conscious that it was very dark outside. It was raining really hard. All I remember seeing out of the car windows were lots of hydro poles with many overhead wires. Some were hanging parallel to the road, while many others were crossing over the road. There were also so many illuminated signs. In retrospect, it was probably a typical scene in a large city but, to me, the neon signs; wires all over the place; the rain and the overall darkness produced a very depressing sight. What had I done?

We eventually arrived at my new temporary home, where I said “Hi” to everybody, and I promptly went to my bedroom and slept really well. The next morning I had some surprises waiting for me!

To be continued…

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