My Impression of Victoria in my First Three Months
By Wenhui Jiang
February 12, 2012 marks my first three months in Victoria as a new immigrant from China. During my stay, I have been to Butchart Gardens two times, where the fantastic floral beauty greatly touches and impresses me. Combined with the picturesque charm of Greater Victoria, the beauty of the local people and life also convinces me that this is the right place for a beautiful life. “Why?” you may ask me. Here, let me tell you about my connections with some local women.
Ruth, a graceful retired lady living in Colwood, met me at a community pedestrian crossing on a rainy afternoon, and sometimes invites me for tea and a talk or a short walk along a beach nearby. The time we have spent allows to me know many details of what a Canadian life is about, such as what a native Canadian thinks about the BC healthcare system, why vegetables are so expensive in Canada, and how an at-home schooling system operates.
Elaine, a middle school teacher in the Sooke area, is an elegant lady whom I met on Bus 52 one day. That day, I needed to transfer to Uvic via Bus 50, and then take Bus 26. When she realized I didn’t know the bus station uptown, she kindly told me that she was also taking Bus 50 and getting off uptown, and she would show me where the Bus 26 stop was. With her help, I got on Bus 26 in time. It was also a rainy afternoon. From a talk with her during our shared bus trip, I learned that many local families offer home-stays to high-school or college students from abroad. Those families with yards may also plant vegetables or raise not more than 5 “free run” hens to provide themselves with fresh vegetables and eggs.
Barb, a tall, professional case manager in Work-Link, is the first job consultant I have contacted for my job concerns. Her warm smile and helpful advice opened the door for me to the BC employment culture: how to prepare one’s resume, what aspects one must pay double attention to in resume writing, such as spelling and wording, and what the available resources are for a new immigrant, such as ICA Victoria and Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society. She even kindly made calls to ICA and VIRCS for me and emailed to me lots of job links and websites. From her, I have learnt about what is called an information interview and how to analyze my previous working experience in regard to the current labour market. Moreover, she keeps in touch with me about my ongoing situation and introduced me to Debbie, a kind and experienced resume consultant, who helped me a brainstorm about how to prepare my resume and cover letter. The help from Barb and Debbie has gradually built up my self-confidence in job seeking. By the way, my first appointment with Barb also fell on a rainy afternoon, weather I am fairly familiar with, since I am from a scenic Chinese city that is also rainy and poetic like Victoria.
Furthermore, other ladies named as Amanda, Fanny, Karolien, Rina, Tracy, and Treza and certain unknowns, whose smiles, kindness, and patience are all as beautiful as their names or manners have connected me to the local life of Greater Victoria.
Thus, because there is not only Butchart Gardens’ beauty in Victoria, I am really confident that Victoria is the right place for a beautiful life.
Wenhui Jiang is a new immigrant living in Victoria who wanted to share her story with the readers of Tapestry.