PIECE of CAKE

30/12/2016

Every immigrant has a different tale to tell about relocation to another country, especially in today’s global climate of dramas. My disclosure is of a different time and diaspora, which has had its changes since my entry.

 

In coming to this new country, much was unexpected but accepted as with all goings on in my life. I was 13 years when I emigrated from a tropical isle to the Autumnal realm of Ontario, Canada, arriving after an 8 hour flight with a younger sibling to rendezvous with our parental unit with whom we had no experience in 5 years. Suffice to say, our reunion went well and I’ll skip ahead to what this portion of my tale concerns.

 

Winter was on the horizon, something about which we had no concept in the North American sense, and so clothing preparations had to be made.We were introduced to the immigrants shopping-friend, Honest Ed’s. The place where most, if not all, new Torontonians would acquire affordable gear of all sort. We received as much as our monies, I ought to clarify and say all our mother’s money, could acquire! All but a pair of winter boots for yours truly.

 

Having just arrived under uncertain conditions, there were a few unknowns under which I was functioning , the least of which had to do with parenting and its import. I was to play catch up for quite a few decades, especially since no on head a clue as to what I was and/or was unaware but a quick study I had to be. If I was to survive and progress as expected in spite of deficits unaware and not understood.

 

After 3 months in, I was informed I was to get an after-school job, although it was never made clear money was tight and, being the elder male child, it was incumbent upon me to pull whatever weight I was assigned. I also needed winter boots and this would be my contribution to its acquisition. One day upon coming home from school in grade 8, I was instructed to find my way to a particular corner drug-store where a job would be waiting.

 

I did as instructed, and reported to the man behind the counter by name. Not much was exchanged between us, save that my duties were to deliver prescription drugs after the order was filled. I was to do these deliveries by bicycle, even in the snow which had fallen over the pas few days. I was also wearing my mother’s winter boots, as I had none, and they were a mite tight!

 

Off I went, guided by directions I was given from the drug store owner. Suffice to say, being unclear as to N – S – E – W of the city, as well as being unfamiliar with the names of the streets, I became lost in short order. Much of my time was spend in the payphone on street corners to verify directions and my location.

 

The cold, the snow, the ill-fitting boots and getting lost made me unfit for duty, and I was summarily fired. An opportunity gone by the wayside due to being underprepared, yet no one seem to grasp the process by which I was operating. The inhabitants of where I resided had other issues on their minds. I was to adapt as best I could and keep up so as not to fall behind.

 

Next day, I reported for school to keep pace and graduate for what awaited the following year. I just had to survive the current school year and its lessons over the Winter through Spring and into Summer. Piece of cake!

 

8. Gunboat Beach c.'61

Another Turning Point

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