Coffee Break at Timmy’s

Ottawa has many identities, many nationalities, sometimes; depending of the place can be anything but Canadian,despite for many people Montreal is and will be the insignia of multicultural town.

For those who has been in this country, one of the most popular coffee retailers and beloved for all federal employees is Tim Horton’s. Coffee is good and cheap, muffins and the traditional Timbit are good as well. Since I’m here in Canada and after a year of being in the capital border, this retailer has and will remain the face of immigrants. Behind the front desk, people of all nationalities work, and most of the time, this is the kind of place where an immigrant can find a job. Your first job in a different country is a real nightmare, just to find one can take months. I knew a guy who was working there despite his engineer background; he works part-time there and the other half as janitor in a building. Her wife does better; she works as a quality control agent in a factory.

I work in an office downtown, the person in charge of cleaning is an immigrant woman. She’s very shy, her English is weak and poor but she always smiles every time I open the door for her. I guess nobody would like to have her job, picking up the garbage, cleaning shelves, emptying dust bins, cleaning toilets..tough job for me.

I was very curious  and I dared to ask her where  she was  from. She said smiling again Ethiopia …I said “woooow, that’s far” and she asked me back the same question. She wears the typical Muslim veil to cover her hair, she has a nice face and beautiful smile, I can’t imagine what kind of hair she has, I guess curly and black but still, she hides in her smile and hair something private and beautiful. After theses questions we went to work.

 I’ve forgotten many immigrants when come to Canada don’t speak French, not needed if you go outside Quebec, so French is worse than Japanese. If you come with your family you speak your mother tongue at home. And if you’re unemployed and you look for a job at home, so you speak your mother tongue 24 hours full-time. In those cases integration is very difficult, plus, you keep you cultural background with you, you refuse what is outside your window. Family keeps that hermeticism and push you not to change. Of course, after when you get a job, the adaptation and cultural shock is the theme for an anthropologist student.

Without being totally gay, Ottawa has a rainbow in its heart, I mean, colours, sounds and smells, everything is so different, of course, if you want to see real Ontarians you should go to a suburb. And to be honest, most of the immigrants want a job, money, have security, have good services and good education for their children, so integration just means work, work and money.

But honestly, Tim Hortons should receive a price for integrate immigrants to the Canadian labor.

Dead Past Time

Like 2 months ago I went to Montreal . At the time I just took the bus, Dominatrix wasn’t in the landscape yet. I stayed at my friend’s place for 2 ½ days there. As I wrote before, going to Montreal is never a pleasant experience for me. There are many typical characteristics that for naming an apartment a Montrealer place. The spiral stairs always showing the curves and charming steps when you look at them from the bottom. But for a mover is real nightmare. This was the first time in 3 years I went and stayed in a typical Montrealer apartment. I though it would different this time, I also thought my wounds were healed. Just climbing those stars I was like going back to past, in 2004, climbing and feeling your weight bouncing in every step you reach, feeling you’re going to fall if you’re fat, not feeling safe and ready to fall, feeling the rubber that protects you when you step up in winter time. After finishing the outside stairs you open the cranky door, you put your key in old French fashion knob and just after opening that door which was painted several time and you see paint layers as a tree showing you its year stocked in that wall. As soon that door closes you see the interior stairs, you smell humidity and you feet can feel it too when they climb the wooden steps, the jute carpet that protects them stress the smell, you feel you enter in a box, the top seems endless for finally arrive to the door of the apartment, you feel this place was hiding from you as you were playing hide and seek, just when you sought you reach the real labyrinth of emotions hidden in the past of your heart. My memories came when that typical smell smacked on my nose. I tried not to panic and say to myself past won’t take me emotions back. I was so wrong. Probably took me not with in/out stairs or rubber sensation under my feet but the mini daily life will stand between me and my friend.

More than 3 years and this was the only time I spent near 72 hours with a human being, a woman, a being who reminded me the cultural things about my ex bitch. The first morning I realized I was in somebody’s space, despite I slept on the couch. I woke up lost, I couldn’t sleep but I woke up very early with an urge to grab my coffee…surprise, the coffee machine was a primitive instrument so primitive I got troubles to figure it out how to make coffee, without mentioning I needed to find coffee as well. I made a very TNT version of morning drug with that high quality coffee and the rudiment instrument…I felt electrical for at least 7 hours, no need to eat but still I made breakfast because…I don’t know, morning coffee without breakfast is not very normal for me. I waited for my friend to wake and eat together….she woke up almost at 11 am. near brunch time. I don’t know why I have a reaction of being again in couple, being again in charge of cooking and prepare something together since my ex bitch was totally handicapped for those tasks. I was repeating the same actions of my hurtful past with the hope to be loved. I think I was trying to please her just to discover my friend is not a brunch person. “I like more fruits in the morning”. With a kind of deception I was prepared to do some shopping near her place. I used to live around it, so before I went to check my old room in St-Laurent avenue . I had a couple of happy months there, not many, at the end everything ended horrible; I don’t even want to remember.

After exploring shops I went back my friend’s place with empty hands. The apartment was upside down, I wanted to clean it all and throw away half of it. Papers, newspapers, invoices, money, plants, DVD’s, books, toys cat…name it, I wanted all of them out of my way. Of course, it weren’t my belongings; I just wanted a bit of order around the couch, my microscopic guest space. I missed my cat and I missed even more by mattress.

The night was full of surprises; I never expected to be at a hospital with her waiting for an invisible doctor. She had troubles in her stomach or around it. The fauna there was more interesting than going shopping. It was really anthropological being there. People laying on the benches, sitting half slept on the chairs, people low class or people almost dying, coughing their lungs and spitting his hopes on the plastic caps, waiting for more than 5 hours. There was a woman folding like a worm complaining about pain in her kidney, we felt so sorry for her. The funny thing is there were some French tourists, a girl had a problem in her arm, of course, she didn’t have insurance, so, she had to pay in order to see a doctor. She spent more than 700$ and because of that she went straight ahead to see the doctor, she just waited no more than 20 minutes. It was just disgusting and unfair. After waiting we decided to go home (her home) and rent some movies. That was the top of the top. What I hated and probably at the same time I missed the most of my conjugal life were movies. My friend asked to choose 2. I told her she can also chose but she insisted it was me who had to…just like my ex bitch. I chose one from Korea and a Mexican. Both I heard had nice critics. As a good Montrealer my friend wanted to know more and discover new cinema.

We started with the Korean one, Mother, there was a scene when the woman by casualty, cuts her own finger…before the cut, my friend started to cry and cover her face saying aloud “I don’t want to see that”. I just exploded…I felt my ex was there in the living room making a crisis. After that my friend was complaining about me, my aggressively reaction and trying to blame about other things never occurred or she tried to link it with it. Anyways, the next day came and I was eager to come back which I did. With a horrible headache, vomiting and laying on my mattress with my cat. Still I got antibodies to Montreal .

Dominatrix

Hello world, that means the 3 people who read this blog. It’s been a while, a very long while since my last post. What happened? Well, I was quite desperate looking for a car. It took me like 3 weeks since I found one, not the Santa Fe, I found like 2 in bad shape. My lesbian friends recommended me a place where the owner, an old mechanic was just specialized in Toyota. So, since a RAV 4 is too expensive and my piggy bank is anorexic I chose Matrix, which the fun thing about it is you can fold the back seats and you got a lot of space, like for 4 corpses. You can sleep there, honestly. This car is from 2005 and 70,600 km on it was just perfect, plus, stick. It’s been like 1 year I don’t drive and 9 years I don’t touch a stick car. Driving was a bit awkward but I figured it out quickly. I won’t lie, when I drove the first time alone I was sweating, my legs were trembling and I called to my dad saying “I’m scared”. Of course, I was, plus, 2 days later I went to a shopping center and guess what, in the parking when I was trying to leave (in reverse) I hit a car, well, I bumped it, not so hard, no marks on mine or that car….but I felt totally criminal. I left the parking lot, happily nobody saw me because it was 8.10 am in the morning….what an idiot I can be…so since then, that means 1 week ago, I park very far from other cars. A friend of mine was laughing at me saying…”remember, the John Lennon’s birthday was the first time you hit a car!” She was right.

Parking is just a nightmare, since my driving lessons were 1 year ago, I just watched some videos on You Tube to remember some tips…till now, I’m scare of parking lots. I guess I need to practice, not in Québec side, where people can be really aggressive. I should go to Ontario side. Well, I did last Sunday, it was nice driving and get lost….despite I got a GPS not everything is simple. I’m a girl after all!!!!

Do you know what I did when I picked the car? The first place I went to was my ex-bitch apartment. She lives in a horrible condo, sourrounded by several condos in a street full of condos…that place’s name is condomaniacs…people who live there lived before in Montreal and the only way of living for them is to buy a shoebox and call it home. Most of them are people who always lived in apartments and think and blinded believe is cheaper and better than buying a house. So, let’s go back to what I did. I put her address in my GPS, I followed the indications, well, I tried, I got lost but the GPS again did a nice job. I arrived at her place….I tried to park the Dominatrix, remember, I just took it a couple of hours ago, it was Friday, traffic was frantic but I arrived, I parked totally horrible, I said to myself, to go and check what car she had…so, when I left the car, I was wearing a cap and I went to the parking and suddenly she went out to her balcony (and I realized she didn’t have a BBQ, I got one!). She was wearing sunglasses and holding a coffee cup, she took weight and when I saw her I got nervous, clueless and I panicked…I took my cellphone I got in my pocket and I pretended somebody called me….and I came back to the car. There, I was checking her, she was looking at the car, probably for the horrible parking way and I saw she was smoking a cigarette, that’s why she was in the balcony. She seemed very stressed, as if she was waiting for somebody not very pleasant….weird…usually you aren’t stressed on Friday but Monday. She went inside and my soul came back to my body.

I took the car and went to my place…still shaking about the crazy thing I did. But why did I do it? Simply, my problem is I can’t help to compare myself. So, I wanted to know if she, despite her big salary was better than me…and I see I don’t have a huge salary but still I got health and doing things slowly, very slowly.

At work, things seems very strange, nobody talks to me or gives things to do. I’m invisible and it hurts… I can’t quit because of the car and I sent papers to the embassy in order to invite my father to come to visit me. I have to wait like 2 more weeks for those morons determinate my dad, with his 77 years, won’t try to stay here in Canada as an illegal.  Some human beings are just incredible.

I’m still waiting for news of jobs. I applied I don’t know how many times, I had an interview 2 weeks ago and nobody said any single word about it, that means I’m out, right? Maybe, maybe not, the worst part is I have to wait…not fun.

I got Dominatrix, I’m still trying to tame it…I scratched it the door when I was leaving the parking…I wanted to kill somebody… but it’s just some lines, nothing serious, not nice but still…I feel free and at the same I’m scared of my own freedom or the possibilities Dominatrix gives me that right. I’m still nervous behind the wheel but I guess I will pass….I miss my father, he was a good driver and he taught me how to drive stick. I call him almost every night telling him my car drama…and he laughs…and he’s proud…

Dominatrix is silver and I don’t feel like the Lone Ranger.