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Newcomer opens the door to a new experience

In our first few months in Canada, I did something totally uncharacteristic. I opened the door to two strangers and invited them in to taste the pulao I had just finished making after they commented on how good it smelled!

Now this, as anyone will tell you, is not the most sensible, safe thing to have done. Not something anyone who grew up in a large city in India would ever do. 

It happened thus: We lived in one of those bungalows with the kitchen right up in front of the house. You opened the front door and basically walked into the kitchen. When I had expressed concern about the layout, our real estate agent had explained that most older homes had that – that it was a way of welcoming people into the heart of a home, that it was warm and friendly. 

Ah, the famous Canadian friendliness! That was something we had experienced personally. Everyone we met had been ever so nice to us. Asking if we needed any help, helping us settle in, bringing us home-baked cookies to welcome us to the neighbourhood. How could anything bad happen in such a place? So when one cold winter afternoon I heard a knock on the door, I didn’t even look through the peep hole to see who it was, but opened the door.

There stood two elderly men, collecting donations for some event they were organizing. I explained, embarrassed, that I didn’t keep much cash at home. 

Even small amounts helped, they assured me. 

So I asked them to wait while I went in to get my purse. 

That was when one of them sniffed the air and said, “That sure smells good!”

Now how could I, in all neighbourliness, ask them to stand outside in the cold after that?

So I invited them in, sat them down at the small kitchen table and asked them if they’d like a cup of tea and a taste of the pulao. 

They accepted readily. We ended up enjoying a nice chat about where we came from and where their own families originally came from. About how most cultures were the same at the core. 

They took the change I had, wished me a good day and said they would stop by again the next time they were in the neighbouhood.

All I could mumble when my husband and then my friend took me to task for my carelessness was that it was cold out on the porch and also, I had gotten carried away by Canadian friendliness. When everyone was so super friendly to us newcomers, how could I, a newcomer, leave someone standing outside?

As you can see, nothing bad happened to me and I lived to tell the tale!                                                                                                                  



What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

Posted: Oct 2, 2017

May 2020

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016