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Newcomer tells it like it is

After coming to Canada I learned that telephone manners or etiquette varies from country to country. Or if not the etiquette itself, the words used to convey availability.

I came to Canada as an international student many years ago and when a new friend I made at college would call, saying, “Do you have a few minutes to chat? Are you busy?” I would respond with, “No, tell me.”

Which, of course, is a literal translation of the Hindi phrase, “Nahin, bolo”,  which is what one says in India when someone calls and asks if you have a few minutes to chat.

It is the common, accepted response which no one even thinks about. It is just something we say before launching into a conversation.

So that’s what I would say, automatically. But my friend Stacy would find it very funny. She’d laugh and go, “Tell you what?”

Even after I explained why I said what I said, it was a while before she stopped saying that. Enough time for me to stop saying, “No, tell me”!                                         

– Triveni Garg


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: Nov 1, 2017

June 2019

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

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