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    Default Share your immigrant story?

    I have been recently talking to @tonytiger55 about this, both he and I are 1st generation immigrants into Calgary, hes from the UK and Im from New Zealand. I know that many of you on this board are either 1st or 2nd generation immigrants into Canada, and alot of Calgarians weren't born in Calgary.

    We would be interested if Calgary/Canada is different from where you initially were born/lived, if cars and your own experience with cars is different here? if the lifestyle and people of canada are different from what you experienced before things like that.

    My personal story is that I lived in what I considered a large city (300,000 people) in the capital city of New Zealand from when I was born until early 2007, I found a job with Nexen online as a IT contractor and moved over here in March of that year. I found Calgarians for the most part to be friendly however I did struggle to make friends with most Canadians because my personality is mostly blunt and the canadians I did meet tended to have a social group stemming from friends form school/high school. Most of the friends I made were expats - lots of Australians. I didn't bother buying a car in the first two years of being here because car insurance was roughly 600% higher than in New Zealand. Over there you can get full insurance for $500 NZD whereas here as a new immigrant (but with 12 years of transferable driving experience they wanted 3k for liability only). Also I noticed that in 2007 probably half of all cars were rusty shitbuckets driving down the road - there was no standardized road test to make sure death traps werent on the road as there was a test in NZ. Other things I noticed is that people travel more here because they have money to travel and they can fly to places easily - not that they are well travelled, there was a greater variety of food here - lots of chinese restaurants and other asian stuff, and that people werent struggling from pay check to pay check for the most part.
    Last edited by nzwasp; 10-31-2017 at 05:06 PM.

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    Was born in Poland at the age of 1 1/2 - 2 we came to Canada..

    My dad at the time had a decent paying job so we decided to "pretend" to fly to Cuba with a layover in New Found Land and just never board the plane again. Everyone on the plane was doing the same I guess. Out of the whole plane only two familes got to stay in Canada (Us being one of them) Ended up living in Newfieland for a couple years while we got all the paperwork done then we drove over to Calgary. While in Newfound Land my dad worked as a fast food delivery guy, we weren't making much money at all at the time.

    Don't think my parents really had high hopes of actually being able to stay here but I'm pretty grateful I got to move out there for sure, even if I take it for granted sometimes.

    When I was around 14-15 years old we finally head over to Cuba for a vacation which was pretty funny we joked about finally making it

    Most polish families would go out to Greece first and fly out to Canada, I'm not exactly sure why it works like that though.
    Originally posted by beemerm3
    so if we only seen 5 % of the oceans why not drain them or somethin lol or can u even transfer water from one ocean to another??? think of all the stuff u'd find treasures n eerything.

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    My Personal Story , Moved to Canada from Srilanka. I was born and raised in the Northern part of Srilanka. Grewup in the middle of the Civil war and spent days in the Concentration camp. Eventually moved to the South of Srilanka where I finished my higher studies and started working in IT. In 1997 I moved to Canada because of work. Landed in Canada and I struggled at the beginning to make friends (Just like @nzwasp ).
    Never owned a car in Srilanka. So zero input there. In Canada I first started driving in Toronto. Ended up buying a Brand new Integra GS in 98 and my insurance for a month was $350 . I don't miss a thing about Srilanka. I am glad to be here. This is my home now.

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    Parents defected from Poland to Germany before I was born, by apparently running away from a tour. I was born in Germany. We eventually moved with all of their friends to Canada when I was almost 3 and that's that. Raised here with that big group of Polish friends my whole life. I do have vivid memories of my parents taking me to work with them when they first got here where they would clean offices and clinics while my mom went to English school and my dad looked for real work.

    Really thankful they made the move. Don't know what my life would have been if they stayed in Poland. I find it hilarious when you have millennials like me, talking about how much they love adventure because mom and dad pay for them to travel constantly. My parents were 24 and broke when they decided to move with their toddler to a different country where they didn't even know the language or anyone that already lived there.
    Last edited by dj_patm; 10-31-2017 at 12:02 PM.

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    Not sure if I've posted this story here or not, my family immigrated here on Halloween of '82 (today is my 35th anniversary in Calgary). Was originally supposed to be here much later but a random series of events happened in the summer of '82. There were a bunch of serial killings in Hong Kong, and at the time my dad worked at Kodak. The wiki article mostly explains it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lam_Kor-wan

    There's a bit of inconsistency with the wiki page, it was actually at the Kodak lab, and not the store where it was reported to the cops by my dad. The Kodak store bit was from the movie. Anyways, long story short, my dad was involved in the case with the cops and prosecutors, and the HK government rewarded us by fast tracking our emigration process, which is how we got here 2 months later.

    Why Calgary? It was my cousins families that chose Calgary, and we just followed along. Since then I've embraced Calgary and Canada's culture and lifestyle pretty well, to the point where I consider myself pretty white washed and Calgary is my hometown. Whenever I visit HK, I get sick of it after a week, and can't see myself living there ever again.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
    I have gone above and beyond what I should rightfully have to do to protect my good name

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    Came here at the age of 7 with my mom, dad, and brother in march of 1999. Moved here from Croatia with nothing but 6 suit case to our name. Been here ever since. My aunt and uncle and cousins moved a year before us. Was either Calgary or Australia that we were going to go to. After the Yugoslavian war there wasn't much for us there anymore.

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    I'm second generation, but my dad said the original plan was Vancouver. When my grandpa first arrived in Vancouver (via HK), a bird shit on him and he considered it bad luck and brought his family to Calgary instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D'z Nutz View Post
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    I'm second generation, but my dad said the original plan was Vancouver. When my grandpa first arrived in Vancouver (via HK), a bird shit on him and he considered it bad luck and brought his family to Calgary instead.
    I thought a bird shitting on you is supposed to be considered good luck haha

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    Mom & Dad both 19/20 at the time give or take around 1979/80 sold off some family jewelry to pay the boat fee to take them along with 20-30 others from somewhere in the DongXing/Vietnam area to Macao. Sad story because the ship captain oversold the number of spots and many paid and got left behind. The captain got his karma (maybe?) years later when he was the youngest of everyone on the boat to suffer a stroke.

    Dad was too small to work in construction so they just did some work with flowers and relied on government assistance. I was born in 1981. Another lady with same last name as dad became good friends / considered family because she loved baby me. That family left Macao to Canada in 83 and sponsored us through the church in 1985.

    The rest is history. Very fortunate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
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    Not sure if I've posted this story here or not, my family immigrated here on Halloween of '82 (today is my 35th anniversary in Calgary). Was originally supposed to be here much later but a random series of events happened in the summer of '82. There were a bunch of serial killings in Hong Kong, and at the time my dad worked at Kodak. The wiki article mostly explains it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lam_Kor-wan

    There's a bit of inconsistency with the wiki page, it was actually at the Kodak lab, and not the store where it was reported to the cops by my dad. The Kodak store bit was from the movie. Anyways, long story short, my dad was involved in the case with the cops and prosecutors, and the HK government rewarded us by fast tracking our emigration process, which is how we got here 2 months later.

    Why Calgary? It was my cousins families that chose Calgary, and we just followed along. Since then I've embraced Calgary and Canada's culture and lifestyle pretty well, to the point where I consider myself pretty white washed and Calgary is my hometown. Whenever I visit HK, I get sick of it after a week, and can't see myself living there ever again.
    damn that's a crazy story, looks like HK was pretty colorful with murders
    https://www.timeout.com/hong-kong/bl...murders-083016

    Quote Originally Posted by Shlade View Post
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    I thought a bird shitting on you is supposed to be considered good luck haha
    supposedly in Venice only


    My story is that we are originally from the Philippines, and while my parents were working in Italy in the 80s, they made us live there from Grade 1-6 as well, 1990 until 1996 from what I recall.
    As it was difficult for Asians to immigrate in Europe, they decided to move us in Calgary instead, where we had some families already.
    So while paper works were being processed, our parents moved us back to the Philippines from grade 7-10 so that we could relearn our native tongue and english.
    We finally landed in Calgary on January 2000.
    Last edited by taemo; 10-31-2017 at 12:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shlade View Post
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    I thought a bird shitting on you is supposed to be considered good luck haha
    Sounds like something a bird would say #fakebirdluck hahaha

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    My parents immigrated to England in the 1960’s from India. We were all born there (London).
    I worked in central London, but I was burned out. Lack of opportunities for young people, especially ethnic minorities. Lack of opportunites, lack of ability to progress, i.e buy a home, career, family etc.
    I came on a work permit to Canada in 2007 to try something different. Immigration came through in 2012. Its been hard, almost found myself homeless on one occasion with nowhere to go. But its working out.
    Small differences, grass is not greener it’s a question of what you want in life and what you priorities.
    More opportunites here to build a life and a higher quality of life. More active lifestyle too.

    Cars are different. I leaned on German vehicles when I came here. I would never touch a Japanese. I got royally butt fucked with maintenance. I personally found German vehicles don’t handle the cold well in comparison. The iced up roads and taking punishment of the changes in weather and road conditions made me go the opposite way towards Japanese vehicles.
    Im amazing how Domestics get away with building such shite. I really do. I thought Peugeot were shit.

    Coming from London, I found Calgary small with soooooooooooooooo much land and there is nothing outside of the city. Like nothing! There is shit that will eat you too. This is awesome. It was interesting to meet Canadians moved in from outside of Calgary that thought Calgary was so big.

    I too have found it hard to make friends.. But hard to build a deeper connection. Like nzwasp mentioned a lot of my friends are ex pats.
    In terms of people.. Its different, in the pub me and a friend will have totally different views on something and it will get heated. We will drink our pints and go home. Next week it will be something else. But its over a pint, I need to hear the other perspective if I agree or not.
    Here I find some people can get really offended. Or having a different opinion makes you a arsehole. But people are really friendly here.
    Again my experience is the opposite with nzwasp. I find people are not really travelled here. But that I don’t mean Vegas, Cuba or Mexico.
    I was surprised how religious people are here. Catholicism and how some of the habits and social planning are integrated with that. Back home nobody is really religious. It think its more to do with pagan roots and Christianity being foreign…?

    East Indians are different here. Holy shit.. Much more conservative and do not mix as much. Its like how it was back in the 1980’s in the UK with first generation immigrants there, but less integration. My dad is retired and has been going to pubs all his life. The younger Indians talked about it with morbid fascination.. ‘he goes to a pub..?’ like it’s a shocking thing. Every brown person asks me what place in India im from.. I reply in my cockney accent ‘West London ya cunt’. Not hearing me clearly they like ‘Vaaat u saaay…?’ I reply.. ‘.. London, England…’.
    Its interesting, on a side note..I found with Filipinos, they found it really hard to grasp the concept of a person with a East Indian Ethnic origin being different being born in the UK. They found it hard that im not like the East Indians here, it puzzled them a lot.

    There is more dodgy dealing amongst the east Indian community when there does not need to be. Back in the 19670’s/70’s immigrants would help each other be it finance and other stuff. Here me and my parents noticed that is not the case, they give with one hand and take with the other or fuck each other over. Its presented as helping. My parents are older than the immigrants here and they find it a bit stone age with the customs/thinking habits people behave with.

    I have the opposite experience with food. I find the lack of variety or the shite some restaurants serve up as authentic…bitch please. They get away with a lot. A quick bite is more fat people food here loaded with cheese or tasteless salads. Lack of good healthy choices. This is not to say all the food is bad, there have been some very good places to eat.
    The beef here is fucking awesome too.

    Healthcare is waaay better here. OMG. I don’t care what anyone says, the standard of healthcare and the education level of the nurses is high.

    Overall this is a great place.

    Don’t judge… with this bit… I actually like the snow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonytiger55 View Post
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    East Indians are different here. Holy shit.. Much more conservative and do not mix as much. Its like how it was back in the 1980’s in the UK with first generation immigrants there, but less integration. My dad is retired and has been going to pubs all his life. The younger Indians talked about it with morbid fascination.. ‘he goes to a pub..?’ like it’s a shocking thing. Every brown person asks me what place in India im from.. I reply in my cockney accent ‘West London ya cunt’. Not hearing me clearly they like ‘Vaaat u saaay…?’ I reply.. ‘.. London, England…’.
    Wow...really? My experience has been totally opposite. I've lived in Scotland for 4 years and traveled through out UK. Also have lot of family there. In my experience, I found the EI's from England to be much more backwards and wanting to stick to traditional beliefs and norms. I found them to be much more strict and old school. I have family in UK that are now third generation with the grand parents being there since the 1940's and perhaps that's why they have the traditional values more so. I haven't been since 2009 though and I suppose things could have changed since then. Mind you, some of the family are married to white people so they are not traditional in that sense, but just in general as to how they perceive certain things.

    In Scotland, I was in a small town called Dundee and the brown people there were really old-school as well but there were very few EI's there.

    Besides that...I miss the bloody Istanbul's and Corfu's take-away's quite a bit some times. Coronation chicken on fries and spicy chicken pizza. I will go back at some point just for that.


    Anyway...I guess I will share my story as well. I was born in India and moved with the family to Calgary in 2001 and I had just gotten into my teens so I can speak the languages and all that pretty fluently. Uncle's family was already here and they were well-off so we stayed with them for a few months initially before getting our own place. Dad and mom are surgeon and phd-doctor respectively so always had a decent life even in India. They thought the kids (me and brother) would have a better life and more opportunities here (they were right) vs India so decided to uproot themselves from an extremely well-settled life to bring us here and go through the struggle of re-qualifying in their respective fields etc. After moving here mom decided do some additional schooling (having had a Phd already) and dad studied extremely hard for many years to qualify as a doctor again (having been a surgeon for 22 years) in Canada so life has been kind as far as the financial part is concerned. I alone moved to the UK after I finished my high school, turned 18 and did my schooling there for the fun of it. Came back in 2009, finished my schooling and have been here ever since.

    Having lived extensively in 3 major countries and having traveled to countless others, I can say without a doubt that at-least for me Canada is the best place to be. The cold and all that doesn't bother me at all, especially when compared to some of the things that bothered me about UK and India. I really don't see myself living anywhere else, including US where I have family. I would narrow down further to Alberta as having been to pretty much every other Canadian city worth living (except Montreal - going at the end of the month), I like Calgary/Edmonton the best. Some people are bleak about AB's future due to the rejection of the pipeline and are always telling me to think about moving to a different Province but I guess perhaps I am more optimistic and don't think the situation is that dire...or perhaps I am just naive.

    Ohh and what can I say about the cars that most of you guys don't already know...haha. Love the luxury vehicles, have been lucky to try out a few but still many many more to go.
    Last edited by shakalaka; 10-31-2017 at 03:05 PM.

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    Yes, I am immigrant. First gen even. And English is my second language.

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    Interesting thread.

    My family also immigrated to Canada. In the 1770's as fur traders. lol.

    One side of my dad's family is related to Simon Fraser (I don't share the name), and the other side that does share my name has streets named after us in some cities in Canada where fur trading was big. I myself never traded furs.

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    Very cool idea, OP. I really enjoy reading stories like these!

    I'm born and raised in Calgary and will likely put roots here too. I've travelled a decent amount around the world, have lived in Edmonton just over two years and Calgary will always feel like home (the mountains and skyline are incredible). I would say the average Albertan seldom travels far out of the province let alone to another country and doesn't really appreciate world views. By and large they are very conservative people, who work very hard to support a family and seldom change their ideas on how things "should be." This is changing as time goes on but I can tell it's still quite entrenched in "Albertan Culture."

    My mom's side of the family was originally from the Netherlands who were apparently recruited by the Russian government to show them how to become better farmers in the late 1800s/early 1900s. They were all Menonites living in colonies and later moved to Canada, residing in Manitoba - many of them still are there. A bit of the family moved to Alberta for work sometime in the 50's. Dad's side is pretty sparse on info, he's from Greece and moved here at some point. The piece of shit has been out of the picture for most of my life so I couldn't say I care about his history anyways.
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    Lots of interesting stories, this is nice.
    Originally posted by SJW
    Once again another useless post by JRSCOOLDUDE.
    Originally posted by snowcat
    Don't let the e-thugs and faggots get to you when they quote your posts and write stupid shit.

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    Third generation Albertan here, my great grandparents moved here from Prussia before WW1 and spent their first winter in a dug out cave on the side of a hill with a canvas tarp for a wall - that would've been a tough winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Not sure if I've posted this story here or not, my family immigrated here on Halloween of '82 (today is my 35th anniversary in Calgary). Was originally supposed to be here much later but a random series of events happened in the summer of '82. There were a bunch of serial killings in Hong Kong, and at the time my dad worked at Kodak. The wiki article mostly explains it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lam_Kor-wan

    There's a bit of inconsistency with the wiki page, it was actually at the Kodak lab, and not the store where it was reported to the cops by my dad. The Kodak store bit was from the movie. Anyways, long story short, my dad was involved in the case with the cops and prosecutors, and the HK government rewarded us by fast tracking our emigration process, which is how we got here 2 months later.

    Why Calgary? It was my cousins families that chose Calgary, and we just followed along. Since then I've embraced Calgary and Canada's culture and lifestyle pretty well, to the point where I consider myself pretty white washed and Calgary is my hometown. Whenever I visit HK, I get sick of it after a week, and can't see myself living there ever again.
    For some reason I thought you were brown not asian.

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    Parents are from Ireland, one from the North (grew up in a pub), the other from the South (grew up on a pig farm). My mom not wanting to live in Derry any longer and my dad not wanting to work 'in pig shit' they got their medical degrees and got the heck out of there. They met in London during their residency but didn't want to stay there. Got hitched, and off to Canada they came, since they knew people who were making it 'out west.' Now they live in Victoria, and travel, and other old people stuff.

    While generally conservative (because taxes add up for dual six-figure earners), they never had the hate for Trudeau the Elder the same as other Albertans. 'We got our citizenship under Trudeau and houses became dirt cheap, so he kind of worked out well for us.' Neither of them ride a bicycle. Being white, English speaking professionals (albeit with silly accents) it was easy for them to settle down here, and it was really easy for me and my siblings to grow up here. So naturally their views on the struggles of immigration and mine on being a first generation Canadian are pretty useless.

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