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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 Immigrant (Part 3) - An Angel Appears    

By Imi
3605 Views | 13 Comments | 7/8/2015 1:08:34 PM

And out of life's darkness there appeared a fiery Angel to light my dreams!

   My winning prize came on a sweltering summer day, on the weekend. I had to work in the restaurant from noon to 11pm on Saturday and Sunday as well. I was tired. The weather was humid. The kitchen was boiling. My hands were in hot water for hours and hours. We were extremely busy. By the time the restaurant slowed down, everybody was exhausted. I was packing the final load of plates up into the dishwasher after lunch when I heard one of the waitresses from behind saying,

    “My daughter liked your before and after photos.”

    “Really?”

   Everybody in the restaurant knew about the contest that I did, and they all supported me. The line cook was my friend, and I gave him a few photos when we went out one day to celebrate my loss by eating two-foot-long Subway sandwiches. I had never tasted more delicious sandwiches in my life than those two. I gobbled both of them up in twenty minutes, to the astonishment of my friend and the woman behind the counter. My taste buds were in heaven after three months of dieting.        

    “How did you get the pictures?” I asked Marika, looking at the cook who grinned at us from the deep-fryer. “Never mind! I think I've got a very good idea how you got them. I didn't know you had a daughter though,” I said, half interested.

    Why is it that everybody wants to fix me up with girls? Do I look so desperate?

  Marika, the waitress, then showed me an old and very small graduation photo of her daughter. The picture was blurry, and I couldn't see the girl's face clearly. She told me though that her daughter was the complete opposite of her, and people sometimes couldn't believe that they were related to each other. Marika was a tall, very thin woman. Unfortunately, she was flat on the front and the back. Somehow, I envisaged her daughter in my head (if she was the opposite of her mother in appearance) as a typical, overweight Canadian girl.

    It was a shock to me when I had arrived how largish the girls were in Canada. In general, they had cute faces, but four out of five women were overweight or obese. The few remaining slim and sexy women were either married or immigrants. Well, it seemed that comfortable life had an adverse side effect on most people. They got lazy and found pleasure in overindulging.

     Am I going to be a fat citizen of Canada, too, in the future? I definitely like to eat. I still remembered the two-foot-long sandwiches that I had shoveled down my throat a few days earlier.

    “Hey, where are you? Marika asked looking at my contemplative eyes.

    “I'm sorry! You were saying . . .?” I said, wondering if she could see the two imaginary sandwiches in my yearning eyes.

   “My daughter might stop by tonight. I'll introduce her to you,” Marika said, and she left the kitchen.

    “Hey, cook!” I called out to my friend, already forgetting about the girl in the fuzzy picture. “Could you make a wiener schnitzel with french fries for me?” I asked him after my tummy had started talking to me, grumbling. “Don't tease me with those sandwiches! Now, I'm hungry!”

   I am sure that I'm going to become one of those lazy, fat Canadians.

    Dinner time.

   It came with a rush of customers. We had ten full tables and thirty or perhaps forty guests almost at the same time. The cook was busy. So was I. I was sweating. So was the cook. The temperature was 35 degrees outside. In the kitchen, it was hell. Orders flew in one after another like some kind of punishments, making us run around the kitchen like a swarm of ants. The word “inferno” came to my mind when I put my yellow, rubber-gloved hands into the hot water. It was almost boiling – at least, that's what it felt like – and I imagined my gloves melting together with my skin and saw myself becoming a yellow-handed dishwasher, a monster, forever, here in Hell's Kitchen.

    Two dirty, frying pans from the cook. One small pot, two big ones. One waiter brought six dirty plates, the other one only four. Countless cutlery. My box tagged Dirty Dishes and Cutlery” was constantly full. I felt as if I were on a hamster wheel – running, running, but getting nowhere.

    By the time we had slowed down, – the second time on that day – and one of the waitresses had said “No more order,” my gloves were full of sweat inside. I took them off and threw them in the garbage. My fingers were white and thoroughly soaked. So this is what my hands and fingers are going to look like when I'm a hundred years old.

   I put a new pair on because I still needed to wash a small mountain of dirty dishes and plates. I bent down and picked up the biggest pot from the floor. When I came back up, there she was; an angel – descended from heaven – stood in Hell's Kitchen.

   I recoiled, probably in wonderment and embarrassment, almost dropping the big pot back to the floor, but I hung onto it, hugging it just like when I had climbed the trees when I was a child to check out the birds' nests. 

  Marika – the waitress – said something, but I didn't hear anything. I just saw that angelic apparition standing beside her with my mouth agape. Her hair was still black. Her eyes were almond-shaped, just like the last time, when I had seen them on the bus, four months ago. Marika's daughter was the girl from the bus whom I thought I would never see again.

   They both turned away from me, towards the cook, and Marika introduced them to each other. Kristy. I overheard. My hearing was coming back, and I was glad. However, it was my growing shame that pushed aside my momentary deafness and stepped into the spotlight.

    I was still hugging the big pot like my life depended on it. My hair was dripping wet. My T-shirt was soaked through. My fingers started to drown (again) in my perspiration in the gloves. Then, the exact moment when I had started to wish for the gates of Hell's Kitchen to open and that I would disappear forever, they turned back to me.

   Great! I am dripping like a melting snowman in early spring. The only difference between the snowman and me is the pot is in my hand, not on my head.

    Finally, I had put the pot back down on the floor, and with that, I revealed my wet and greasy white apron.

    It seemed though, that none of my sweating, dripping, and greasy problems bothered Kristy as she moved closer with her mother alongside.

    Of course not.

   Her attire was spotless. She was dressed in a pair of low-cut, slinky black pants that accentuated and showcased her very sexy and curvaceous hips. Her grayish summer tank-top exhibited her shoulders, and somehow I felt that it would have preferred to extend all the way onto the top of her low-cut pants, but it never did. It stopped just bellow her belly button, exposing a strip of her tight skin on her tummy. Her long hair was down and outlined her exotic features. She didn't wear any makeup. She didn't need it – she was a real beauty.

   Her perfume permeated the sultry kitchen air around me when they stopped in front of me. It promptly triggered a question and a quick reply inside me: How do I smell? – Don't  worry! You smell just fine, just like the stinky kitchen around you.

  “And this is Imi. Now, without his big pot,” Marika said smiling at me. “Imi, this is Kristy, my daughter.”

  Kristy extended her arm for a handshake and said, “Nice to meet you!” I wanted to shake her hand, but how could I? My fingers were swimming in sweat inside the gloves. In Hungarian tradition, we never shake hands with gloves on – especially not if they were ugly, yellow, rubber gloves. The sheer thought of removing my flooded gloves and spattering my perspiration all over her clothes made me more nervous, which meant more sweat. Not taking her hand would have been even worse. Saying nothing – that was just downright rude. I somehow managed to say a “Nice to meet you too” to her, but it seemed that wasn't enough for her. Her arm was still extended, waiting for mine. Her long fingers were just a few inches away from the splodgy print that the big pot left behind as a logo, a brand name – Dishwasher and Poor Immigrant – on my used-to-be white apron. 

    The seconds moved quickly, toward awkwardness.

  Marika – what a wise and sharp-witted woman she was – apparently spotted my troubled eyes. 

   “It's alright Kristy; he is busy. You guys can chat another time if you want. Perhaps next weekend on my birthday, in a more relaxed situation,” she said saving me from utter humiliation.

    After they had left the kitchen, I went back to where I belonged – to the sink full of hot water, to my room in the basement, to my ESL class the next morning. Those were my days as a poor and indigent immigrant. However, two minutes of meeting with a girl made my life exuberant and full of hope. Everything had changed. I was penniless, but I was a rich man in my buoyant heart. It was a feeling that money couldn't buy me, no matter how much I had.

   Glances made my heart skip a beat. Smiles made my mind fill up with a face. The touches of gentle fingertips made my skin shiver in excitement. These were the things that I longed for. I was alone in a foreign country, and those things were priceless to me.

Having a girlfriend in Canada would have made me a man, not just a lonely immigrant.

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 13) 1 2 More...
#2015-07-08 13:20:28 by Barry1 @Barry1

@Imi5922

An interesting story, thank you, Imi.

I've noticed by the way that your writing is getting better and better. Not that it was ever bad, it's just that now it is quite good.

Well done and good luck, mate! (y)

#2015-07-08 13:31:36 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Wow Imi, I am guessing there may be a few disappointed Chinese women who read this and think they are out of the competition, and maybe a few Canadian women who are feeling a tiny bit insulted, but for the rest of us, the intensity has just shot up a notch.

It won't hurt our ladies to understand there is still some serious competition for them in our home countries, it won't hurt Canadians to learn they could shed a few pounds and it won't hurt us guys to read some more about how events unfold with your fiery angel.

I, for one, am looking forward to it. Great post! (clap)

#2015-07-08 14:53:14 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Imi

I totally agree with Barry. Your writing skills are improving with every post
Well Done!

#2015-07-09 00:13:00 by QinQL @QinQL

 
Hi Imi,

The title has attracted me. Who was it, the angel when you are talking about learning english after you had just started your new immigrant life? I need time to read it without Zoe’s great translation. You are a good story teller as Annie said.

@Barry1

Good to see you back here.You seem has disappeared for some days. It is a little strange because you would not leave CLM one more days even you flew and back to China to meet Tina and devote your wonderful blog articles to share your happiest travel with us.


@Anniehow

Please allow me answer you from our teacher John’s thread to here. I do appreciate what your kinds words to encourage me. I might have learned a little in written English from lim’s and Zoe’s stories. And I feel my English is too limited to express my thoughts well. They both are good examples to me. And once their new blog articles has posted, I always think it is time to come to left words to support them.

My smart Annie, you seem have known me very well and You might have read and be able to remember what i typed all on CLM. It is true that I have abundant experience telling stories to my daughter without any books that she could not find them in any book stores that she had looked for.(rofl)

Good suggestions from you! MARK! I am honest to tell you i also like to watch English movies and TV series. Recently, i have just finished watching a history TV series . Yes, it is very helpful culture-wise and improve faster. For my English level now, it is also necessary to learn from the base again to correct exactly and make the base stronger that would help me to develop faster later. It is my goal to catch you in learning English. And I will tell and show you how it goes.Thank you again, dear Annie, for your good advise and kind heart with me (handshake)

#2015-07-09 02:04:01 by anonymous13562 @anonymous13562

alas! the winged almond shaped eyed angel finds her way into your vision once again! Oh my lord I was hoping this would happen as too many times we never act on that one instance in time. I am jealous already, I have let a few of these moments slip through my hands and to this day I regret them...who needs ghosts when these wisps of moments in time haunt us. You had your moment back and in front of you at a time when you were least expecting it. No mater what happens with her in your future episodes you will always have that moment when you were supremely happy and nothing else mattered. Lucky fella!

I agree with Barry, your writing is much better and flows smoothly. good job!

Look forward to Part 4.

sok szerencsét Imi (hope I got it right)

#2015-07-09 18:43:26 by Barry1 @Barry1

@QinQL

"Good to see you back here.You seem has disappeared for some days."

Thanks for your comments, QinQL.

Yes, you are right. Now that my blog series is slowly coming to an end, you will probably see less of me here, compared to the halcyon days of old, where I was here literally every day.

I shall never forget the wonderful friends and acquaintances that I've met here however. It's been a real eye opening and mind expanding experience being with you all.

I am returning to China again soon but have not yet made up my mind whether to write another series of articles about it. Cumulatively it's a lot of work and I sometimes wonder whether people appreciate or value the effort or not.

Best wishes to you, my dear friend. :)

#2015-07-09 22:05:59 by Imi5922 @Imi5922

@Barry1
@paulfox1
@QinQL
@anonymous13562

Thank you all for your comments and kind words!

Recently, I've started to study English online, mostly grammar because it's a shame that after being in Canada for 20 years; I'm still on the level of a fifth grader. I know I'm never going to be on the level that some of you possess in English, but your comments make me eager to learn more.

Unlike, the Lily series that I wrote in five days, now, I search the words and try to make more English friendly sentences which, unfortunately, I still can't achieve most of the time. I've never thought writing could be this much fun! As long as I enjoy doing it; I'll continue writing.

Thank you for reading my post!

#2015-07-11 13:17:06 by Peppe @Peppe

@Imi5922

Your writing is most fluent and vivid. While reading it, the words disappeared and I was right there in the restaurant with you. A sure sign of a good storyteller. Well done!

#2015-07-11 20:39:03 by Anniehow @Anniehow

Great story Imi. I feel like I am watching a movie with suspense and excitement. You do know how to use words vividly and keep readers' attention.

@QinQL,

Keep up the good work. Determination and hard work with correct methods will help you reach your goal. We are happy to see your comments in English, especially me, I don't feel alone as few Chinese ladies commented in English ;)!

#2015-07-14 10:57:24 by Imi5922 @Imi5922

@Peppe

I'm glad you've found yourself lost in the story, even if only for a few minutes.

@Anniehow

Thank you for your comment! Coming from a woman who speaks and writes very good English, it means a lot.

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