Day 1 – The sentimental arrival (Calgary)

Dear diary,

Here’s how the story begins…

After some good 50+hours of flights including some preposterous delays, I finally reached the boarder of Canada. Drained and famish, I simply wanted to brush the custom officer off “I’m here to travel. I will meet up some friends,”to avoid lengthy interrogation. When I was about to exit, I was halted and sent to the quiet immigration office because I was a suspicious traveler. I did not intend to lie blatantly, but, I was annoyed to have to answer multitudinous personal questions that weren’t relevant, or even questions to which I myself didn’t even have concrete answers.  The truth was “I come to Canada alone to see how things go.” As a spontaneous idealist, I had zero idea how the meeting with the robotic company would go, I had no clue through what transportation I will leave Canada… But to the government officials, exact answers seemed to be what they wanted. They were incredulous of a young girl taking so much time off a year to “travel”, but to me, traveling solo was nothing but normal. With a deep suspicion, the female officer exercised her prerogative to inspect all of my belongings and read through all my messages and emails on the phone (yes, invasion of privacy.) Fortunately, I didn’t have any obscene messages/ photos haha! She chided my dishonesty and said “You should stop playing the 21-year-old young cute girl card. You’re wasting my time and (finer waving in circle) their time! You have no right to be here.”

People say the first impression can greatly influence one’s perspectives on the subsequent events relating to the object. As soon as I was released, I hurriedly hypnotized myself to not let this one airport incident and unwelcoming statement affect my views on Canadians and the country of Canada. Another 9 hours of wait, I finally arrived Calgary, Alberta.

The landlady and I had only exchanged a couple emails, but we just clicked and she offered to lower the rent for me as well. Apparently, this amazing lady saw eye to eye with me about the world needing more trust and love, and that we should have more faith in humanity. So, bearing this mutual agreement and silent trust, the unmet lady had left me the key in the mail box. I stepped into the house to find note paper saying “welcome to your Calgary home, Yanise. I’ve prepared a tuna wrap for you in the fridge. Hope you like it,” on top of the homemade wrap, a bucket of snacks and fruits “for Yanise” was sitting on my dresser top. Such a loving act from a complete stranger who had chosen to care for others touched my heartstring and definitely cushioned the blow at the airport.
*Daily discovery: The high-speed wifi circulation in Vancouver airport is fantastic ! It almost never gets disconnected going from one end to the other.


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