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Imi was born and raised in Europe, Hungary. After finishing his school years, he moved to Canada to search for a better life. He lived in Toronto for 13 years and currently resides in Vancouver. He is a romantic at heart with a strong desire to always do the right thing. He would like to give hope to the Chinese and Asian ladies with his story and send a message that love eventually finds everybody.
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The Hotel Maid the Shouting Boy and the Manager - Part 2

By Imi
585 Views | 34 Comments | 5/10/2018 12:57:58 PM

The Shouting Boy

So I turned to my wife and asked, “Did you hear that shout?”

“What shout?” she asked, sleepy-eyed.

It was Sunday morning in Shenzhen. The streets were quiet, nearly without traffic, cars and pedestrians alike. My wife and I were already up and on our way to the gym. I was very much jet-lagged and about to convince myself that the airplane engines were somehow still roaring in my ears, when there it was again—a bawl. This time, it got my wife's attention as well.



“Oh, that,” she said.



Since she speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese, she understood what the man was yelling about.



“The guy is just trying to sell his produce. Fruits, vegetables, and such.”



My wife's explanation only baffled me even more. I looked around. All the shutters of every store were lowered. No one walked the streets but us. On the side of the road, the fronds of palm trees hung low like the heads of people in extreme distress. The city was eerily quiet, and the sun was nothing but a fuzzy, yellowish ball in the sky. We were walking through a ghost town.



The man screamed again to the ghosts. It began to irritate me. His voice scratched the morning calm like fingernails on a blackboard. I had to say something.



“Why the hell is he screaming from the top of his lungs?” I asked my wife. “There's no one on the street to buy his vegetables.”



My wife awarded me yet another one of her reproachful glances. The second one in less than twenty-four hours. Not a good start. “He's just trying to make a living, what's wrong with that?” she said.



Of course, nothing was wrong with that. If anything, it was my attitude that had to be adjusted, pressingly. I scolded myself inwardly for thinking that criticizing someone in China would sit well with my wife. After her brief tongue-lashing, I began to walk beside her like a month-old puppy being trained in street etiquette.



The road ahead curved to the right slightly. As we followed its sweep, it opened up into a major intersection. The gym was on the other side, my wife explained. I looked in the direction she pointed but saw no gym there. Instead, it was a corner shop that grabbed my attention. In front of the store were four wooden stands loaded with fruits and vegetables. A small crowd was busy around them, frisking through fresh produce like a swarm of fruit flies. Not far from the busyness, standing on the sidewalk, was a young boy in a green apron, carefully inspecting the activities. As we crossed the street, he shouted something to the mostly-female customers, at which more customers gushed out of the store and began picking up fruit from the stands.



Fascinating, I thought. Though I couldn't decide whether the busy store that looked like a coral reef with its colorful array of produce in the middle of the concrete jungle was more captivating or the scrawny boy's voice, which was incredibly mature for his age. A raspy, strong, and sonorous sound came out of that skinny, fluffy bird. If he were an instrument, he would have been a bassoon.



I didn't understand a note he blew out, but now that I saw him, my earlier irritation turned into admiration. The boy's tone must have made all the women customers’ legs tremble with excitement, weakening them to the verge of collapse. It could also easily have landed a job for him at any radio station. Even on television—he was that handsome.



I saw the boy every day, working, shouting, and taking no days off. From early morning to late at night, the small corner store was open. At times my wife also stopped there to pick up a few things on our way back from the gym. While she was in, I waited outside and watched the boy. Towel in hand and sweaty T-shirt on, I myself was quite a spectacle. Everybody stared at everybody. The boy, the customers. Female customers, the boy. Passersby, me. And I . . . well, the boy, too. Though, for an entirely different reason than the female shoppers did.



The boy, like the hotel maid, reminded me of my childhood. Especially when one day the boy's father—it was a family business, my wife found out later—came out of the store and began to talk to him all high-and-mighty. I too had a father like that who always spoke condescendingly. I tried to do my best, but I was not good enough for his expectations. Not that they were such high expectations, he demanded. A twisted, debauched mind can't be satisfied, that’s all. That was the very root of my problems and failures.



The boy, a head taller than his old man, took these outbursts as a man, gaining my respect further. Lips tight and face expressionless, he said not a word back to his father. It wasn't his time yet, I figured. The mask he wore was still thick, hiding well the confusion within him. I, however, saw it—that ticking time bomb underneath. I also knew from experience that his mask was slowly going to peel off one day like plaster on an old wall. Bit by bit, chunk by chunk, in the harsh weather of asperity. 



Or, it won't be so at all. Who knows? Chinese are different, family-oriented, can take hardship well. Anyway, whatever was allotted for the boy in the future, I was sure, with his work ethic, he would be much more successful by the time he had reached my age than I'd ever been in my life. With his voice and good looks, inheriting a lucrative business, a shortage of women was not possible either. Even my wife had brought him up in conversation from time to time as we crossed the street.



He's shouting again, she would say. It made me wonder. Was my wife feeling the effect of this young, handsome fellow's voice too? Was that the reason she would stop there to purchase things and send me to the hotel on my own? “You're sweaty. Why don't you go and take a shower in the hotel while I shop,” she often said to me.



Nah, that could not be it. I’m sure. In fact, I’m confident. Voice or no voice, a nose like mine is hard to find.



The Manager 



Once again, the weekend, sunny and quiet. The gym was all but empty. It seemed that even hardworking Chinese people liked to sleep in on weekends. Beside my wife and me, a petite, cute woman struggled with a pair of dumbbells in front of a mirror, and the receptionist sat behind her desk. For my entire warm up, the world-weary expression on the receptionist's face hadn't vanished. Eyeing the opposite wall from her station, she didn't move a muscle. She looked as if someone had told her she had to sit there for the rest of her life, still, like a gecko on the wall. She might have imagined all that. The gecko, that is, on the wall.



If not for the infrequent blinking, I would've said she was asleep, eyes open. Just before finishing my warm-up, she'd moved, though. She picked up her cell phone from her desk. In seconds, her face had brightened two shades into the living-breathing-person spectrum, and she quickly decided to sit there for the rest of her life. At that, the gecko nodded on the wall. It had finally found a companion for a lifetime.



From the treadmills to the free weights I went. After a week of supervision, my wife was able to do simple exercises on her own. This gave me the freedom to focus on my training. I picked up two dumbbells and did some additional warm-up reps for my shoulders. Slow, controlled motion. No swinging, no cheating. The cute and petite woman was idling behind me and followed my movements in the mirror with her eyes. After putting my dumbbells down, she too picked up a pair of dumbbells and tried to imitate me. She had terrible form but was eager to learn. She just needed to get a personal trainer before injuring herself.



My wife was doing her thing close to her. Before I realized, the two women were deep in conversation. Then, a few minutes later, they began to work out together. Women are more open to seeking out other women’s company when they feel uncomfortable, which, in this case, both women were. My wife, barely knowing what she was doing herself, tried to teach the other woman proper form on a leg machine.



In short, I ended up training my wife's new workout buddy a couple of times. Her name was Mandy, a manager in a luxury hotel. More accurately, the manager of the restaurant in a luxury hotel. My wife told me the personal trainers wanted to charge 250 RMB an hour to teach her how to use the weights and exercise machines.



Mandy was surprised and very happy when I offered the same deal to her free of charge. And let me tell you, without exaggeration, in the four hours that I spent with Mandy in the gym, she learned more about weight training and diet than she would have from the young personal trainers in ten hours. When I saw those young guys and girls who called themselves “personal trainers” just because it was written on the back of their T-shirts looking at me, I knew they didn't have the knowledge and experience that I had. After training for thirty-five years, it would be a shame if I hadn’t picked up a few things here and there.



Before someone accuses me of arrogance, I'll ask you to reconsider this last paragraph as a sales pitch. Unfortunately, life never stops raising new obstacles. We all know this. While writing this piece, on March 20th, my wife was refused by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. We’d waited nearly nineteen months for her interview at the Canadian Embassy in Hong Kong. The decision was made in a matter of hours. No one had talked to me before the decision was made, no one had called to ask questions, no one had cared about what I might have to add to help our case. They had made a decision about two people’s lives, but only spoken to one. Is that fair?



 I was pissed. They said, according to the documents that we provided, that they had no other choice but to say no. And for that same reason, they didn't have to talk to me. Now, after a month, I'm back working on this article, still pissed. The appeal is still in progress. It’s more expensive than the actual sponsorship. I may write something in the near future about this fiasco or may not; I'm not sure yet. The only thing I know is that if the result of the appeal is not going to be in our favor, I might need to move to China and find a new job to be with my wife. I don't think there is such a thing as an appeal of the appeal. If there is one, I can't afford it. Filling the mouths of narrow-minded bureaucrats is doing severe damage to my piggy bank. It’s bleeding out fifteen thousand already.   



Anyway, let's get back to Mandy, the manager, and sorry for digressing. Or, because of the wordiness of this part, why don't we continue this story in the next post?


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2018-05-10 12:57:36 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

This is a long blog, but the last two paragraphs have numbed me so badly that I can't even think about the earlier content. I am pissed myself, just reading about it. Your experience with Immigration Canada seems so off base from anything I've heard or read before. I have not been involved in the process for many years now, but everything I have heard or read in the last 10 years has suggested the process was improving, but your experience suggests it has actually gotten worse, which would mean it is now draconian in the absolute.

They said, according to the documents that we provided, that they had no other choice but to say no. And for that same reason, they didn't have to talk to me.

But did they tell you what it was in the documents you provided that gave them no choice but to say no? If they did, what was it?

Did you submit the application without first having an expert in the field review your documents?

Who completed the documents, you or your wife or someone else on your behalf?

How is your wife dealing with, or reacting ro, this rejection?

...my wife was refused by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. We’d waited nearly nineteen months for her interview at the Canadian Embassy in Hong Kong.

I am curious about the application being made to the Immigration and Refugee Board. Is this a recent change in the ever changing Government Department names? The Canadian Govt. seems to have more employees dedicated to coming up with new names for the same old bureaucratic nightmares, than to actually solving citizens' problems. But, was she actually trying to apply as a refugee? Surely not.

Why were you in Hong Kong for this application. In my day dealing with Immigration Canada while applying for a visa for my then Chinese girlfriend, we had two choices - Guangzhou or Beijing. Did you have to go to Hong Kong, and if so, why?  

If you didn't have to go to Hong Kong, why did you choose to do that?

Sorry for all the questions, but the lawyer in me is instantly looking for possible solutions, as unlikely as it may be to find one.

One final series of question, though, unrelated to the visa issue, or at least not directly related to it..

Throughout this entire blog you referred to your wife as "my wife", never by name. This seems to suggest that maybe there has developed some sort of emotional distance between you, or maybe on your end in how you view her. Are you feeling that something has come between you?

I hope I am wrong and it is nothing, but is it possilbe that deep down you may be subconsciously blaming her for this failure to be granted her visa? Or maybe not even subconsciously?

Again, sorry for all the questions. My normal reaction to these type of things is to try to solve them, even though the person reporting them is actually seeking a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic ear. I'm not saying you are simply seeking a sympathetic ear, but if you are, then my battery of questions is going to be very annoying to you.

This aspect of my personality may well explain my 6 failed long term relationships before this 7th one that seems to be working. I am rarely a good shoulder to cry on or sympathetic ear. It is a basic flaw in my personality.

Just the same I hope you will answer my questions, just on the off chance that I may be able to offer some suggestions as to finding a solution.

Meanwhile, I am incredibly sympathetic with you and your wife at this unbelievable and typically inhumane process you are going through to try to be together with the one you love. It has always been the USA and Canada Immigration who were labelled as the most unfeeling and difficult in obtaining visas for spouses from China, Asia and other third world countries. 

However, based on some of the stunningly ridiculous positions proferred by the most childish and embarrasing Head of Government ever elected by a first world country (I mean Justin Trudeau of Canada, not Macron of France), there maybe a quick solution. Trudeau has announced that whatever Moslem refugees are rejected by the USA, will be accepted by Canada. This means that upwards of a million single, male, strongly suspected terrorists could be instantly accepted by Canada, no questions asked, by merely applying to the US first.

So maybe all you need to do is seek to edit your wife's application, and have her apply as a single Moslem male from Syria. Apparently, as per Trudeau, she will be instantly acccepted, no questions asked.

This is, truly, how far afield from reality our Governments have become.

#2018-05-10 23:23:59 by jellyfish @jellyfish

 


@JohnAbbot, 

I would like to contact you and send you my third blog article. But I just cannot find your email anymore. 

What should I do? 

 

#2018-05-11 02:58:37 by anonymous17146 @anonymous17146

First off I wanted to comment on Trudeau, if ever there was a leader or former being controlled by Isreall including Obama, Merkel, Bush and Clinton, Trudeau is the biggest culprit/pussy of all. He is not fit to run a country plain and simple.

Sorry to hear about your situation with Canada Immigration, it seems unless you come from the Middle East, India or Africa you have no hope in hell in sponsoring a loved one to immigrate to Canada. I ran into similar stonewall just trying to get my woman a visitors visa, said she was a "flight risk" even though she has a secure management level job, over $100,000 in the bank, a paid for return ticket to China, my end was backed by over $500,000.00. She has had no issues with any visa she has applied to for 3 other countries including Aussieland. So Canada while refusing upstanding citizens visas are paying ISIS members to come back to Canada, taking in unvetted immigrants(terrorists) from Syria....

Imi you may have already found yourself a good paying job in China....

Looking forward to your next installment.

#2018-05-11 03:18:32 by anonymous17148 @anonymous17148

I would say you were spot on as to why your wife did not want you to go into the store with her, it was so she could flirt unencumbered, Chinese women flirt far more than western women do.

I would suggest you remember a few things, you have the big nose, skin colour and Johnson size they seek... lol just kidding! Seriously! For every one guy she may flirt with there are 100's of Chinese women trying to catch your eye each day you are in China..... You have the upper hand all the time..

 

#2018-05-11 07:39:09 by Imi5922 @Imi5922

@johnabbot



But did they tell you what it was in the documents you provided that gave them no choice but to say no? If they did, what was it?

Simply, pictures of us weren't enough. The application for sponsorship doesn't say how many pictures we need to submit. We thought ten would be sufficient. They were pictures from Guilin when we visited there. Pictures with my wife's family and friends, in their hometown. Pictures from our wedding. Pictures from the office we got married. The immigration officer, who by the way was a Chinese-Canadian woman, said to my wife if I visited her six times, there should be more photos of us. 

Did you submit the application without first having an expert in the field review your documents? Who completed the documents, you or your wife or someone else on your behalf?

We have an immigration lawyer who is also a Chinese-Canadian and lives in Burnaby where I live. He completed the documents.

How is your wife dealing with, or reacting to, this rejection?

Well, it's hard on both of us to deal with this crap. She should be with me at this moment. She is my wife. That's a fact. But in this Orwellian world facts only bring you problems. The first thing she asked me after receiving the bad news was if I've ever regretted to meet her. Hell No, I said, then I asked the same question from her. She said no, but I know she lost face. She didn’t tell her family what happened.         

I am curious about the application being made to the Immigration and Refugee Board. Is this a recent change in the ever changing Government Department names? The Canadian Govt. seems to have more employees dedicated to coming up with new names for the same old bureaucratic nightmares, than to actually solving citizens' problems. But, was she actually trying to apply as a refugee? Surely not.

I don't think it's a recent change. Canada abolished the fiancé visa in 2003, after 9/11. The reason: terrorists might blow up Canada, too, which is (was?) ridiculous. Where did 9/11 happen? Since 2003, we've gradually got to this point where we open the border for everybody and afraid of no more terrorists, only have qualms about reinstating the fiancé visa. My wife, who's never been outside of China, cannot see the place where she's supposed to spend the rest of her life. Spouses from a different country should have the chance to see where their future husbands/wives live to make a fair decesion. The immigration scrutinizes "everybody" closely. It wants us to stay together and not have separated in months after giving permanent residency to someone. But instead of helping us, they raise obstacles, that is, if you want to do everything legally. This is a business for them, I believe. They want to get more money from people who are in the same situation than us and give it to those who claim false refugee status because they are favored by Mr. Embarrassment of Canada by himself, Justin Trudeau. But what do I really expect of a country where you can't speak your mind against these refugees without risking to be called racist? The employees of Canada Service have been advised of not addressing people Mr., Mrs., or Miss anymore. Canada has become a place where the word mankind one can't use in the presence of Mr., again, Embarrassment of Canada because he prefers the word peoplekind instead. What a pussy?—licking the butts of everybody including feminist groups. 

Why were you in Hong Kong for this application. In my day dealing with Immigration Canada while applying for a visa for my then Chinese girlfriend, we had two choices - Guangzhou or Beijing. Did you have to go to Hong Kong, and if so, why? 

Yes, Hong Kong was the place, my wife had to go to. Why? I have no idea. The application was filled out and sent by our lawyer from Burnaby. 

Throughout this entire blog you referred to your wife as "my wife", never by name. This seems to suggest that maybe there has developed some sort of emotional distance between you, or maybe on your end in how you view her. Are you feeling that something has come between you?

I've never had a wife before. This is my first marriage. After getting married, it's been awkward for me to refer her as "my wife." Now, I'm proud to say it. No emotional distance. I can only speak for myself, though. This situation greatly shook the relationship to my wife, as to wake me up to the fact that it is not a relationship about "Baby, I miss you. Baby, I imagine walking with you when I'm outside, holding your hand." I'm focused on bringing her to Canada. I'm looking forward to the hearing to speak my mind before the judge. It’s a totally different game now. I’ll have the chance to tell my side of the story. I’m in fight mode. I’m in a training camp. I’ve got a few months to get prepared, to destroy the only thing that is between us: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

I hope I am wrong and it is nothing, but is it possilbe that deep down you may be subconsciously blaming her for this failure to be granted her visa? Or maybe not even subconsciously?

The only person I blame is me. My wife, according to what she told me, did a good job at the embassy. What hurt our case was me. This was expressed by the immigration officer as well. "If you are in a serious relationship with your husband, where is he now?" she said to my wife. "It would have greatly helped your case if I saw you with him here today." It is not mandatory for the sponsor to be present at the interview. The notice for the interview didn't say so. I would have been there, if I hadn't happened to get home from China in February. It was a money issue on my part for not going. Our lawyer told the same thing that I didn't have to go, but I might receive a call from them and be asked some questions. 

Again, sorry for all the questions. My normal reaction to these type of things is to try to solve them, even though the person reporting them is actually seeking a shoulder to cry on, a sympathetic ear. I'm not saying you are simply seeking a sympathetic ear, but if you are, then my battery of questions is going to be very annoying to you.

Actually, it was my wife's idea that it might not hurt to ask someone's opinion about our case. She doesn't like our lawyer, but changing lawyer now would just make the case more complicated and expensive. So, we need to stick with our current lawyer. I told my wife about you, John, being an ex-lawyer. But I'm sure she would have been happier if you were an ex-hitman from whom we're seeking his opinion. She’s pissed, too. Of course, anybody else who reads this and has a good idea how to beat bureaucracy in its entirety is welcome to comment. 

Thank you for your comment. It isn't annoying, never is.

#2018-05-11 15:57:48 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@Imi5922 - you've provided a great response to my questions, and I have a few thoughts but want to give them time to develop fully, instead of simply giving you a knee jerk reaction that is intended to be helpful but that might not be if not fully thought out.

Meanwhile, two things. 

1. I think you've mentioned it somewhere already, but please remind me whan your appeal is being heard, and what the deadline is for you to submit any written material in advance (if there is such a deadline).

2. You seem to be writing your blogs, comments, etc. in Word, and then pasting them into the blog post location or the comment box. Unseen by you is an incredible amount of Word formatting code that lies below the surface of your word doc, but which is picked up by the Blogs HTML editor. The formatting code is actually three times longer than your own written submission, and it makes the HTML formatting refuse to function.

So please take your Word content and copy it into a Notepad or Wordpad document, and then copy it again from there into the Blog posting area or the comments box

#2018-05-11 16:25:28 by melcyan @melcyan

@Imi5922

This is depressing news. Every country is different, so my advice may only be relevant for Australia. My advice for an Australian would be to not use an immigration lawyer if it is very obvious to most people that your relationship is 100% genuine.

 

In Australia, the guidelines are very clear. Read them again and again until you understand them fully. When you fill out the form, use all the available space as efficiently as possible. Choose your photos and witnesses with great care. They provide crucial backup evidence. 

 

Your job is to make the task of approving your paperwork dead easy. If there is no limit on the photos then use every relevant dated photo. The photos must back up what you have written. Don't let your partner veto a photo because she does not look pretty. If the photo is good supporting evidence then use it. Before you submit your application, have others that have previously been successful in the process check what you have written and then you revise where needed.

 

If you need to use an immigration lawyer in Australia, then act as if only a minority of them are competent in their job. You need to get someone who is highly competent. Vet them as if your future happiness depends on choosing the right one.

 

Imi, you don't have to stick with your lawyer. You need to get an independent competent assessment of your first application. If that assessment finds your lawyer is at fault then don't give him a second chance to stuff you up. Good luck!

#2018-05-11 21:20:44 by Imi5922 @Imi5922

Hi, John

1. The hearing is going to be in six-month time. The lawyer sent the format for appeal the end of March. So the hearing supposed to be anywhere between now and the end of September. As of now, there is no word from the immigration about any deadline for submitting any additional material.

2. Sorry for the inconvenience. From now on, I will post my blogs and comments from the notepad. Would you like me to resubmit part three, or that would create added problems?         

#2018-05-12 00:18:55 by oldghost @oldghost

I don't understand how it could happen that you were not interviewed both jointly and individually.  I do assume you made a joint application!  When I applied 20 years ago there was a joint grilling followed by separate interviews.  There were metres of email printouts and statements ... I am sure Canadian validation is not much different from Australian!

#2018-05-12 12:45:52 by Barry1 @Barry1

@Imi5922

 

Like @JohnAbbot, I feel somewhat gutted by the response you received from the Canadian Immigration authorities. I can scarcely believe their absurd decision.  I can barely stop shaking my head over it.  Unbelievable!

 

I know how hard it has hit not just you but your wife also. I once had a Chinese girlfriend named Alice who was refused a visa to visit Australia on some spurious grounds. When Alice phoned me up to break the bad news, she was on the verge of tears, saying things like, "I feel like killing myself!"

 

This decision caused me to visit Alice in China, rather than her coming here to Australia. It illustrates how profound and downright egregious some Immigration Department decisions can be.  I'm certain that over time, many hapless victims of this all-powerful department full of faceless bureaucrats (similar to the taxation department) must have in fact committed suicide, consequent upon an adverse decision having been received.

 

If I can be of any advice or help in this matter in any way, Imi  -  perhaps as a long term referee confirming your excellent character or the bona fide strength of commitment to your wife or whatever  - please don't hesitate to contact me. |(

 

 

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