Tuesday, December 8, 2009


This blog is generally about not-so-serious subjects but today I am writing about something important. I hope you do not mind and if you do...well please fuck off.

You know there is a lot of controversy about immigrants. There are illegal ones and ones that are not but I have to tell you that in my experience immigrants rock.

To wit...

I frequent this variety story. An Arab gentleman runs it and he is so friendly and I go there so often he is more than welcoming and gracious. I buy my smokes and maybe a pop or chips and am on my way and he ALWAYS wishes me a good day or interjects some comment of connection.

About 3 months ago he was obviously sick. Something was wrong and he was not around as much as he was normally. His son took the reins and ran the business and so did his wife.

This is no mean feat. The store opens at 6 AM and is open to 11 PM so someone is there from 5 to midnight and often the same person. I mean, who the fuck would want to do that? And they are open 7 days a week. The owner has no other staff than his family. That is it. That is at least 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Fuck I barely work 40 hours and I am bagged at the end of the week.

So, I go in today. My guy is looking slow. He is not himself so I ask him, "What is up, are you OK." and he relates to me he had a seizure last night and he is not feeling too well. I ask him if he knows the reason and he points to his head and I see it, for the first time. The bones of his skull are deformed. I have no idea why I never noticed it before. And then he motions to his hand. It is terribly disfigured.

"Taliban," he says.

I am at the point of tears. A 47 year old man who has seen peopled die. Who has watched family members and friends waste away from cancer die. Who has no fucking clue what life is about because I live in Canada and am SAFE.

"Taliban," I ask. "Why did they do that to you?"

"No reason. They came into my village and began to beat people. Hit me with rifle. Smashed hand."

"Where are you from," I ask choking back whatever semblance of North American righteousness I possessed.


I steadied myself and said, "I am proud you are in Canada now."

He smiled. He knew. He was safe now. Relatively. He had seizures and health problems but his wife and son were safe. He owns a business. He was contributing to Canada. Paying taxes and creating wealth. He did not advertise his plight and only because he and I had a rapport did he divulge his background because I am the type of person that asks these things.

Immigrants. Keep them coming because anyone motivated enough to leave the fuck out of Dodge deserves a second chance.


  1. Amazing story. Some of us only *think* we have problems.

  2. 2
    No lo puedo conseguir en español!

    I fight with family and friends over this all the time, particularly about only allowing English in the US. They consider it a great injustice to "press 1." People here have a funny idea what freedom means.

    I'm proud we have our Canadian friends shoulder to shoulder with us in Afghanistan helping those like your friend.

    Very nice time out!


  3. Canadians really need to know how difficult it continues to be to immigrate to Canada. Our country would be in decline if it were not for immigrants coming here, starting new lives, new businesses and importing their culture which keeps ours strong and vibrant and opens up new markets to us. Why is Canada well positioned for business with China? Look at our Chinese populations in Vancouver and Toronto.


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