It’s 7:30 pm on a Saturday night. This is exactly the time I planned to have a big party to celebrate my 13 years of Canada with all my friends.
Instead of wearing a korean dress with a glass of wine on my hand, welcoming all my guests to arrive, I’m sitting in the St. Michael’s hospital emergency room waiting for my turn.
Fortunately, I never had to be here last 13 years which I am very grateful. Even now I finally made my appearance here, I’m also grateful that my condition is not anything threatening so I could just walk here myself. I’m thinking the bright side, it’s good to learn how this emergency system works in Canada anyway in case for the real emergency.
During the interview process at the reception, they asked me:
“What is your martial status?” – “single”
“Did you come here alone?” – “yes”
“Can I have your emergency contact?” – “hm… one sec”
For the most of my life, my emergency contact was always my parents. Then eventually, I started realizing that my parents cannot be my emergency contact because of the physical distance, time differences, and language barriers. Then the last 5-6 years, Joel was my emergency contact until we broke up.
This simple question started raising me lots of questions.
“Will I ever be in a situation that I’m simply alone and there will be no one to contact to?”
“Who is really my emergency contact?”
“I have wonderful friends, but will I be able to ask so much when it actually comes down to a real emergency situation?”
“Will I be really ok living abroad without any family forever?”
As I get older, I encountered some situations that the obvious answers when I was young, no longer applicable that I’m an adult who lives abroad as a first generation immigrant.
“Where are you from?” or “What’s your nationality?”
“Who’s your emergency contact?”
“Where is your home?”
13 years… I spent more than 1/3 of my life here now. But I’m still having a hard time answering if Canada would be my home forever especially now I have no set plan to start a family here. Just like I had no idea I would stay this long when I first came to Canada, I would never know what would be waiting for me in the future.
One thing for sure is though, Canada has more than 1/3 of my heart with all the wonderful memories and love I received last 13 years. Thanks everybody who made my last 13 years so wonderful and memorable.
Thank you, Canada. You welcomed a Korean girl who couldn’t speak your language properly and didn’t know anything about the horrible weather. You gave me a job, friends, and a legal status to stay here safely as long as I want. And you treated me fairly equally even though I’m a minority in many ways: woman, Asian, and immigrant. So I appreciate you for that.
So it’s 8:30 pm now and I’m still waiting in the hospital. This is not eaxatly how I thought I would celebrate my 13 years, but who cares.
“Happy 13 year anniversary to me & Canada!” ?????