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Newcomer is plugged in

I don’t know if plugs with two-sized prongs are common  in other parts of the world, but they certainly aren’t in India, where I come from. This was cause for much confusion in our early days in Canada.

Having lived and worked in the Middle East before moving to Canada, I thought there wasn’t much we needed to learn. We had lived in a multicultural society, worked with people of all different nationalities, and were familiar with “foreign” brands – this was before everything also became available in India!

Unlike many newcomers who come with their appliances and use the convertors available in electronics stores, we chose to buy what was available here. We moved into a furnished apartment and one of the first things on my daughter’s list was a hair-dryer.

We bought one, but when she opened the box at home, she found a plug with different-sized prongs. Never having seen one before, she thought it was defective and brought it to me. I took one look at it and muttered something about lack of quality control becoming a global problem. Without even trying to plug it in, we marched back to the store to exchange it.

The customer service person asked the reason for return and I said, “defective plug”.

She took out the hair-dryer and examined the plug. “What’s wrong with this?” she asked.

I pointed to the prongs, wondering if she was being difficult – the difference in size of the prongs was very obvious.

“But they are all like that,” she said.

I thought this is one brazen store, they sell defective products and openly say so! Then she plugged it in to show me that it did work and unable to come up with a reason for returning it, I said I’d still like to exchange it for another unopened box.

All the way home I was sure it wouldn’t work but we plugged it in... and voila! it worked just fine. That’s when I noticed that all the plug points were designed to accommodate these “Canadian” plugs, with one prong larger than the other.                              

                                                                                                                        – Mahesh Kamath

 

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: Jul 3, 2019

July 2019

Centennial College



Immigration Peel Canada



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