Canada emigration of Montreal after the crisis h1>
Why did I go? Because he did not want to stay in Odessa. I love this city, but I can not be with him for long. At the first opportunity and left – first to Russia, where there were Internet friends. Having received the diploma, I first of all took the Odessa-Ufa train (in Ufa there were many creative, clever and simply good people, I had the good fortune to communicate with many of them, later I read from Shklyar that the Bashkirs are “holy fools”, apparently meter-narodovode is more visible). I thought to look at the situation and can stay in the “exotic lands” – Bashkiria, or Peter, or Siberia.
About his emigration tells Eugene Lakinsky. (Texts)
The first part of the confession is read here. Your horoscope will help both with the right direction in life, and with a daily choice.
In the autumn, I saw the Russian crisis of 1998: a few days the dollar jumped from 6 to 20 rubles, thousands of people lost their jobs. There was an impression that all this was arranged by someone “upstairs.” It was dangerous to live in such a country: you never know when the government will leave you. When Putin came to power, all dreams of Petersburg disappeared completely.
To move to Kiev, Kharkov or Lviv? But there – almost like in Odessa. Only at home – half the city friends, but there’s nobody you know: there’s no one to talk to.
Belarus? Lukashenko reigned there.
I looked at the map of the world. Countries were divided into the poor (where not to emigrate) and the rich (where it is very difficult to legalize – live on bird rights and temporary visas). The only exception is Canada. Immigration rules, reliable status are clear here, and in three years you can apply for citizenship.
But Canada frightened: it seemed like an endlessly boring country. Familiar acquaintances, from Odessa ontario, spoke about Quebec. The description was laconic: “The culture there is close to the European one, but they are all nationalists there – therefore one must know French.”
So, the choice, in fact, was not: Quebec and French.
Habitual winter in Montreal.
Someone introduced me to Gregory. Gregory lived in a neighboring house and also met in Quebec, only started the process. He was 30, married, children. I was then 22.
Grisha became my guide. In a complex immigration process, he “outstripped” me for several months. Therefore, I could always tell where, when and what kind of paper to get, which form to fill, where and what to write about. After a year and a half, I accompanied his family to Odessa airport, and six months later he met me in Montreal.
Later, when I myself became a “specialist” in immigration matters, I began to share my knowledge with university comrades. But there were so many who wanted to install a “tax”: a bottle of beer for consultation. Quickly abandoned the idea – not to sleep. However, none of them did not submit a single questionnaire – did not even try. All the better for the Motherland.
There is such advice to writers: “If you can not write – do not write.” So, approximately, and with emigration. You can not emigrate – do not emigrate.
This is a difficult path. Follow it – do not complain about life later.
The province of Quebec has its own immigration program, with its selection criteria. But the main idea is the same as the federal government of Canada: the candidate must score a certain number of points. Points are ranked for age (the younger, the more points), for the profession (you need to have the right profession for the country), for knowledge of languages (in Quebec – French, in Canada – English or French).
This is the lion’s share of the points. A few more points – for the knowledge of the country, for the presence of relatives or friends there and other “trivia”. If the candidate is a family candidate, points are added for his wife or husband, for children under 18 (or older, but for students). Adult children who do not study anywhere can not be taken with them. You can not take your parents either. But if in immigration you are on your feet and will have a good income – you can make them “sponsorship.”
The Quebec and Canadian programs have one final result: you get a “federal” Canadian visa and the right to live and work anywhere in Canada.
The process took me less than 2 years. During this time, managed to learn French – enough to speak-read-write, though with difficulty and with terrible mistakes. “Grinded” the language already in Montreal. In general, when it’s not native – you teach it all your life. And every time something new is revealed to you. And you never reach a complete ideal.
Was it difficult to go? Difficult. Leaving behind him everything he knew and loved, all friends, almost all acquaintances. But he could not stay any longer. In Odessa there was an impression that you were walking around in circles. I wanted to break this circle.
I often think what would become of me if there was a normal situation in Ukraine: relative social security, Western European wages, the opportunity to travel around the world without visas.
I think I would also be “in a foreign land” – I would not be sitting at home. Of course, Canada would not have chosen. Maybe France or Italy. Or Norway. Probably, I would have gone on student exchange for several years. Then I would have stayed “a little more”. Would have got used to. Perhaps, more often and for longer would go home.
And so – “one-way train”. The first couple of years I corresponded with Odessa friends. But the further, the less common themes remained. I changed, they changed.
From the airplane the city resembled a children’s designer: equal squares of private houses; in the backyards, here and there – the blue circles of the pools. And the sun.
I thought: “So that’s what you are, Montreal.” Although in reality it was Dorval – an area in the west of the Montreal Island. Then, in 2000, he was formally considered an independent city. The center of Montreal, of course, is different.
Dorval Airport. The first steps in the new country. Conversation with customs officers. I apologize for speaking with them in English (he was the best at that time). This is stupid: at the airport, English is almost a working one, especially for those who work with travelers. They ask me if I brought a car or a yacht. Answered: if I had a car and a yacht, I would not have come here.
Formalities took time. In addition, the airline lost the luggage of half of the passengers – and mys too: we must go to their office, understand. (A few days later the suitcase was brought directly to the door).
Grisha was waiting for me. We took a bus, then another.
At the bus stop, I heard the conversation of African spouses and was very surprised: I easily understand their French. And where is this awful Quebec accent, with which I was so scared? (Quebec pronunciation differs from the standard French – it is difficult for foreigners to understand it).
“They are Immigrants,” he explained.
I did not understand then what a deep abyss lies here between “Quebec” and immigrants, French-speaking and English-speaking, and in general different ethnic groups.
In Odessa, it is customary to be proud of its “nationality” (and many of us have three, four or more). But in reality all our “Bulgarians”, “Poles”, “Greeks”, “Ukrainian”, “Karaites”, “Jews”, “Czechs”, “Russians”, “Georgians”, etc. etc. constitute one people.
There is also no clear boundary between the speakers of Russian and Ukrainian (unless there are ideological nationalists on both sides).
That’s why I thought that in Quebec as well: everything is one people. And in Montreal, apparently, they speak English, in the villages – in French, but all of them consider Quebec.
This is absolutely not so. Firstly, Quebec and Anglo-Canadians are two completely different people. They are kept separately. Quebec is only one who, from childhood, speaks French and comes from the colonists of the 17th-18th century. Each language group has its own universe: its newspapers, television, universities, colleges, schools. And mixed companies or families are really mixed, that is, it is a meeting of two cultures.
Immigrants – although three times French-speaking – it’s not Quebec. Nobody will call them so – neither local nor they themselves (except for the clear-eyed Quebec nationalists, for whom “who is ours for us” and especially idealistic immigrant patriots, but also those in the minority).
Each immigrant group has its own church or mosque, or whatever. There are Romanian Orthodox churches, and Ukrainian Orthodox churches, and Syrian Orthodox churches, and Russian, and Greek, and Serbian, and Bulgarian. And in all the “aliens” very little, or not at all.
Russian Orthodox churches in Montreal are less nationalistic than others: among the parishioners, except Russians, there are Ukrainians, and baptized Jews and Tatars, and Georgians, and Armenians, and. the list will be long, the entire ex-USSR plus neighboring countries.
But already in the Russian monastery in Mansonville, where the descendants of the white emigration gathered, you will be told about “Holy Russia”, and “about the Russian Orthodox peasant,” and about other patriotic “reasons” that are worthy of our, Ukrainian nationalistic myths.
I’m talking only about the Orthodox. Imagine the antagonism between Africans of all denominations, Arab Muslims, Catholic Catholics, Orthodox Jews, secular Jews, Haitians, Chinese, Japanese, Italians, Poles, Hispanics. In fact, no one hates anyone (except for very sick on the head), but the world is clearly divided into “our” and all the others.
At the same time, all cooperate perfectly when necessary. And they drive in the same buses, and work together, and study. There are many inter-ethnic marriages, but, unlike Odessa, they are truly interethnic, intercultural.
Montreal is a city mainly French-speaking: the east is mainly French-speaking, the west is English-speaking, although there are many exceptions to this rule.
I did not know all this yet. Through the windows of the bus, I looked at the new land. The city seemed empty to me. It was the area around the airport: the long streets, for which you do not have to walk, but drive. There were few cars, and even fewer pedestrians. It was warm and dark. Lanterns are everywhere.
We reached the subway and boarded the train. The car is like a car. Somewhere moved to another line.
“This is Snowdon,” said Grisha. “The Russians live here.”
At the station it was really written “Snowdon”. I peered at passers-by, but did not notice any special Russianness. Meanwhile, Grisha – a Russian-speaking Odessa citizen who considered himself Russian and went to the “Russian True Orthodox Church Abroad” – told me that the “Russians” should stay away.
Ville-de-Quebec. The author is with Louis-XIV, the ruler of France. The first years of emigration.
Later I learned that this is a general trend. One family known in Montreal – Russians from Moscow – boasted: “We have a very good area – there are almost no Russians here.”
It often happens that people talk to each other in Russian, but when they realize that next to another Russian-speaking, instantly switch to English or French. True, there are also opposite cases: on the contrary, they want to get acquainted. And most people simply do not care.
In Montreal, you must assume that you speak in public.
You never know who understands what language. For example, an African or a Chinaman can perfectly understand Ukrainian or Russian (studied with us). A blue-eyed blonde can fluently own Arabic (because her parents worked in Syria and she grew up there). Etc.
Therefore, a sensible person never speaks in public of something offensive about other nations. Also you can not say anything personal: there are quite small ethnic communities, many know each other, if not directly, then through friends.