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SUMMER2014 Multicultural Association of
Wood Buffalo
Multicultural Stories

their specificity, yet very much vibrant and feels more awkward to have to ask ‘stupid’
lively, engaging and creative. questions because we cannot make sense
They say it is only when you lose of the new reality’s norms, values and
something that you come to appreciate it ways of functioning. It is difficult to accept
and that couldn’t be truer. Even though I gracefully a ticket of 120 $ for having parked
had experienced loss in the past six years, your car outside your own house for more
I had not yet come to experience the loss than 48 hours!
of my country. All of a sudden, this chaotic, I learned that making new friendships in
corrupted to the core, maddening, bankrupt a foreign land is precious and something I
place, became a jewel of beauty, freedom, must strive for. That the long dark freezing
social warmth and cultural vibrancy in my winters may cause one to feel very isolated
mind! I began to question my sanity and and depressed, if they do not have an
sank into a deep meditative state out of established social network or a job with
which I emerged a wee bit wiser and with opportunities to interact with coworkers/
more understanding. colleagues.
I realized for example that the magic and That you better never get sick here,
beauty of life is revealed through contrast. because it is mainly a matter of good luck to
Life and death, light and darkness, having find and get appropriate and timely medical
not having, being in your country and being care. Furthermore, having no option of
abroad. That when we lose something apart private health care, it can be pretty scary
from appreciating it’s good parts we also to have to rely on sheer luck to get to see a
tend to idealize it and forget all the bad specialist on time and procure treatment.
stuff. This causes the ER in the hospital to be
That it is easy to get stressed out and feel overtaxed with the number of people who
overwhelmed in a new environment when end up having no other resource.
the move from a tourist to an immigrant Not that the Greek public health care
occurs. The fact that there is no turning system is any better, it is actually much
back, that we have decided to start a new worse, but we do have the option of being
life in a new country feels like a death and able to see private doctors and specialists
rebirth. It takes time and can be quite when needed and the price is affordable.
painful as well as exhilarating. On the other hand if you need surgery that
Being an immigrant you have to is another story, it can be very expensive
adjust and learn everything from scratch, in a private hospital, and our public ones
something a tourist has the luxury of look more like concentration camps than
ignoring. Especially after a certain age, it anything else. So in that respect, the public

I learned that
making new

friendships in
a foreign land
is precious and
something I must
strive for
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