I stepped onto the plane for Vancouver at precisely 2 in the afternoon, January 1st, 2016, local time, still trying to hold back the tears threatening to fall down. I can’t cry I told myself.
All of my teachers, my friends and relatives, they were so shocked when I told them I was coming to Canada. “Are there anyone you know that can look after you?” was the most common question I got.
And my answer was as always no.
“What about your parents?”
“Nah they’re staying here.”
“But you’re still going?”
I wanted to. Have wanted to study abroad for a very long time. Besides, even if I really wanted to back out, I couldn’t. Tuition fees were paid. Plane tickets were taken care of. How could I say no I don’t want to go anymore?
The flight to Vancouver from Guangzhou, China took nearly 12 hours. That wasn’t a very comfortable flight but, ah well, at least the food was fine, and this was enough for me. People on the plane were either watching a film or sleeping. Not much to say about this period of time.
I don’t quite remember the time when the plane touched down in Vancouver, Canada. Probably 10 something in the morning, local time. The first thing that I heard after getting off the plane was a dialogue mixed with English and Cantonese. Ah the bittersweet homesickness.
To my surprise it wasn’t that cold outside. I was expecting something like chilliness and bitter wind but I received none. Ok maybe it won’t be so bad I thought.
Because of the schedule I had to stay at the airport for over six hours waiting for the plane to Winnipeg. So I was basically wandering around, after deposited my luggage, from morning to nearly eight in the evening. Got my suitcases, had my study permit done, bought a book, had a cup of coffee.
The plane for Winnipeg was relatively smaller, but more comfortable as there were more space for every passenger. I could even cross my legs.
When I arrived at James Armstrong Richardson International Airport it was nearly 12 in the morning. Luckily before I arrived I found out that my landlord was willing to pick me up and took me straight home so that I didn’t need to spend the night at the airport.
At that time I was all alone in a completely unfamiliar place, with two heavy suitcases and a backpack, and restricted within the airport because once I got out of the wifi range I couldn’t contact anyone. I didn’t have one single person that I could confide in. I didn’t even have a secure living place before the landlord offered to rent her basement.
And it was hard, honestly. I cried myself to sleep that night at 3 am and woke up at nearly 6 am, terribly homesick. My friends all jokingly said that when a person first arrived at a new place, he or she would be too curious to feel any other negative emotion. Well I’m apparently not that type of person.
My dad told me to “listen to Chopin when you’re not feeling so well”. Alrighty. Here goes.
Chopin – Nocturne No.1 in B Flat Minor, Op.9 No.1