I am afflicted with the longing to go home. I don’t know whether all immigrants are struck with this affliction periodically or not, but now it has hit me. It is Labour day, officially the start of the new academic year, and both my daughter and I will be starting school. She will go on Wednesday, I have an orientation session on Friday, during which we will be served hors d’ouvres. This summer, I was supposed to rest, and prepare myself for the return to university, after an absence of twelve years. However, I feel anything but rested. I feel tense, nervous, and broke.
All those lovely crisp Canadian hundred-dollar bills I bought with me from Iran, the last of my savings, are now finished. My purple leather purse, crammed in May when I first came to Halifax, has now a couple of twenty-dollar and five-dollar bills in it. No doubt, this state of affairs is very much responsible for the strong feeling I now have, to jump on the first plane back to Tehran, and bury myself in my downtown apartment again, forgetting the fresh sweep of ocean Halifax air- very very expensive air, I have to say.
I try to think what I spent the money on. Here are some items which leap to my mind:
1200 dollars: rent and security deposit for the first month.
650: daycare bills.
130: ambulance bill for the time I was so ill and vomiting my guts out.
400: driving lessons
and the other half? coffee and cakes and non-expensive lunches, odds and ends, bits and pieces at the supermarkets and malls. I can’t think of any other single heavy items.
Still, I have propsects, I know. I have to be patient. My student loan will come through, the money owing to me from my old office will come through (I feel like murder when I think about it), the CRA will finally make up its mind about the children’s payments… Just have to hang on. But, I have to say, this floating financial insecurity after years of receiving a steady, high-ish wage is extremely frustrating, and is perhaps THE worst part of immigrating. When you look at the empty purse and wonder what the hell you did with it all.