MONTREAL, I AM BACK.
I felt so happy when the immigration girl gave me my work permit. I couldn’t believe it. I almost cried while looking for my luggage. What a relief. I was going to walk Montréal’s streets again as a Montrealer. I was going to have an address in Montréal, a job, a phone number, a life.
I know, it has been a while now since I moved back to Montréal but I couldn’t find any time to write here about it. I wanted to post something before leaving but again, it was so quick then I got the answer that I had my head everywhere but here.
For those who follow me since 2014 (and even before when I had another blog!), my first posts were about Canada and how going back home was hard. I really started to take Welcome Home seriously when I went back to France in 2015 and realized how much I missed it there. I decided it was time to share my experiences to keep my family and friends updated on my whereabouts and to make people want to travel too, discover new things, new selves. I don’t know if I succeeded but I really hope so.
A lot of things have happened since 2015. I thought I was going to go back to France forever and be stuck there. I thought it was going to be fine and that I will just adjust there. I also wrote something about how I didn’t know if I could live in Montréal forever because of all the people always going back to France or to their countries (because they were there only in exchange or in a working holiday visa and didn’t really wanted to stay). Well, I guess there are only donkeys that don’t change their minds right? (Yes, that’s another french expression that sounds weird in English…! Any equivalent?).
So I got a job in Montréal in November. Luck with me or not, I was in Montréal right at that time. I was visiting on my way to and back from Albuquerque where I had a wedding. It was perfect timing to meet the team and imagine the new life I could get. I had to leave my job in France – which did not end well but I won’t talk about it again, it is in the post I quoted right above.
They started to do the work permit for me which was supposed to take up to 9 weeks to arrive. Around New Year. There started the wait. The never ending wait. I wasn’t working anymore, my friends were all in Paris and I had nothing to do in Paris during the day so I was in Normandy, preparing my stuff, suitcase, cleaning up my room… After a month or so doing that, I think my room has never been that empty and clean ahah. Well, still a mess with the suitcase but I throw a lot of stuff and tried to sell some clothes too. I was so ready to leave on January 2nd that when I didn’t get any news for the first week of January I started to feel bad. I was bored and sad and scared I wasn’t going to get that visa.
Hopefully I had more time with my friends and family and I am glad for that but I was in deep boredom state during the day, almost depression I guess. You know when you tell everyone you are leaving in January and every time you see them they ask you only the same question: Not gone yet? When are you leaving? In the end, I just had one answer: I wish I knew.
By the 15th of January, I still had no news of nothing. I called the company person that was taking care of my situation and he explained to me what happened. When you ask for a work permit in Quebec, you have to ask to Canada and to Quebec. Quebec asked him in December for a detailed paper with all my tasks and percentage of time on each task. While he sent it to them, they never got it and never told they didn’t get it. When he realized that on that week after calling them, he sent it back to them and they said we would get an answer soon now. Phew. Kind of relieved I have to admit.
That is when everything went into a light speed mode I guess. I got the approval on a Monday night and I got a flight on the following Sunday. I had to go back to Normandy finish my suitcase that I started to do over and over again more than four times, say goodbye to my family and Alexis there, then go back to Paris, say goodbye to my family and friends there.
I have been moving around so much in the last few years that for me goodbye doesn’t mean the same as for others. I am sad but I really want to believe we can meet sooner than later. And keep in touch through technology. So easy now, well, you need to have time though. Which I hadn’t had much lately but I will take more time to answer the messages I got for my birthday two weeks ago #shameonme
Ok so now that I talked way too much about my life before leaving, here are my impressions on my (other) come back.
The arrival was very smooth. I got off the plane, the new border crossing system where you go to electronic terminals to do the control is awesome and very quick (or there was not many people that day?). Then I got to the immigration center and there was just one person before me. The girl took me almost straight away and it was so quick to do the visa after that. Be careful to check the details on the visa before leaving the office. Like the dates, your name and so on. How many people did I read online that had non matching dates between their visa and their work contract. It took less than an hour to go from outside the plane to outside the airport. I thought it was going to take three hours!
My cousin and his daughter went to pick me up at the airport. They are so nice. I had so many things on me, I don’t know how I would have done without them! When I arrived to my flat, put my luggage down in my room and met with my new roommates I was so happy. Like I finally was there. I could start living my life again and not wait for something to happen like I just did for the past two months.
I started to work the next day and the week was very long. Papers, phone, bank, meeting with my friends that were here… I was exhausted from the jet lag but I guess so happy to be here that I couldn’t say no to an invite. I was going to be opened to anything. Plus! It was the super blood blue moon on Wednesday AND my birthday on Thursday. I had to do both ahah.
Now that I settled a bit more, I am still so grateful to be back.
The job is hard and challenging but I wasn’t expecting less. I really hope to be great at it. I am quite sad because the person who hired me left last Friday and the other person in my team in Montréal is leaving next week (in the web team, because there is another developer team otherwise). That is going to be a real challenge compare to right now. I will have to work on my own in Montréal with my other colleague that is in London.
The life is as I imagined it. I try to enjoy it as much as possible, do as much as I can, especially in Winter where I never really did anything crazy before here. I love the snow and I wish it would snow even more. I do not wish for the cold though, I already thought I would freeze more times than I can count since I am here! The trick is, one day the weather is not too bad so I am dressed way to hot, and then the next day, when I take few things off, the weather starts to be very cold again and then I am way underdressed! So now I never get out without spare hot clothes in my bag (and hand warmers ahah).
So here I am. Now 28 years old. Almost ten years after my first landing in Montréal, I am back there, again, starting a new life, again, starting a new job, again, single, again. I don’t know what the future holds but I hope it will bring me some peace of mind and new adventures. It is time to reinvent myself, again.
Cheers to 28.