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FRESH OFF THE PLANE:The day I found a doctor on a road!

We stayed with family friends when we first moved to Canada a few years ago. They had immigrated several years before us and were a big support in our early days.

Not only did they insist we stay with them until we found suitable accommodation, they were a source of valuable information, answering questions, giving tips, providing insight into the ‘Canadian way’ of doing things.

They also drove us around, dropping and picking me up from job interviews.

Cocooned in their care, we perhaps didn’t absorb as much of our surroundings as we should have, as the following incident reveals.

I landed a part-time job at a department store and not wanting to impose on our friends any longer than we absolutely had to, we moved to a small rental apartment. I also got my driver’s licence and bought a second-hand car. I was confident that we could take it from here, manage on our own.

So there we were one weekend, doing groceries, when my wife suggested we visit our friends.

Now, remember, this was before the days of smart phones or gps in every car. I took out my trusty book of road maps – Perly’s – and mapped a route.

Driving to their house for the first time on our own, we were more aware of landmarks and road names than we had been when they were driving us around.

I noticed one road sign that ended with a ‘Dr’.

My wife noticed it at the same time.

“Dr? They must mean Rd., short for road,” she said.

“Well, obviously. Can’t be Dr. – Doctor,” I laughed.

We were very amused at this mistake in the road sign and also rather surprised no one had noticed it or corrected such an obvious blooper.

We said as much to our friends when we reached their home.

“Have you seen the mistake on the road sign just before you turn onto your street?” I asked.

“Mistake? What mistake?” asked Mohan in turn.

“It says Dr.,” I said, I confess, a trifle smugly.

“So? What’s wrong with that?” Mohan sounded puzzled.

“D-R,” I spelled out slowly. “Not R-D.”

“Yeah, D-R for drive,” he responded. “Where’s the mistake in that?”

“Oh, D-R for drive,” my wife exclaimed.

“We thought they got the letters interposed! You know, R-D for road, D-R for doctor!”

– Ramesh Murthy

• 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: Dec 4, 2012

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