July 13, 1997

This Friday I’ll be celebrating 10 years from the day I first set foot in Canada. Officially to study English at an ESL school in Montreal, I came really to meet Alan face-to-face for the first time.

We met at an IRC chat room on Sept 1st, 1996 (yes, I already had Internet in Brazil back then!). I collected postcards, so I asked people if they could send me any and he was one of the people who contacted me privately offering to send me one of Montreal. We chatted all night. And the night after that. And the one after that one. Slowly we realized we had sooo many things in common despite all the distance in cultures, upbringing, age… He made me laugh like no one else. He was also able to read my mind or finish my sentences from over thousands of kilometers away. We knew we had something special.

I had been planning to go to England to practice my English. Montreal now seemed like a better idea. Everything seemed to be conspiring in our behalf. I would have to fly through the US and many people told me it was VERY difficult to get a visa to the States, that it took many hours of lining up in front of the American consulate in Rio. The day I showed up there was no line up. I was in and out in 15 minutes. People told me it took weeks for the visa to be issued. The man at the consulate told me to come back in three days. Three days later, I was again in and out in 10 minutes, with a multiple-entry visa to the US that was valid for 10 years. The Canadian visa was equally easy.

I flew Rio-Sao Paulo-Toronto-Montreal. Alan had explained to me that he would be waiting for me at the bottom of the escalators at Dorval Airport, in Montreal. I’ll never forget coming down the escalators – the first thing I saw were people’s feet down below. Then I saw two, in running shoes and jeans, that were bouncing from foot to foot. I laughed and thought “that’s him!”. Of course it was him.

I did attend the ESL class. It was great! It was during that class that I decided to become a historian, but that’s another story.

In many ways, those five weeks in the summer of 1997 marked my life forever. Alan and I cemented out relationship and the long period of preparing to move to Canada started. I had a degree to finish in Brazil and for the next 3 years, Alan and I would fly back and forth. The month after I came back from Canada, I was offered a freelance desktop publishing job that gave me both the means and the freedom to spend a month in Canada every 6 months. Alan would visit me in between, meaning we would see each other every 3 months. In November of 1999, I defended my undergraduate thesis, got married and moved permanently to Canada.

As Savage Garden once said

I want to stand with you on a mountain.
I want to bathe with you in the sea.
I want to lay like this forever.
Until the sky falls down on me…

I was only 22 years old that summer. But there was no doubt in my heart that I had found my soul mate. This Friday we’ll be in Montreal celebrating with dear old friends the 10th anniversary of my first trip to this country that had never been on my radar before but that is now my home.

colage.jpg

Picture 1 (left) – at our friend Jenn’s cottage, north of Montreal, the day before I was due to come back to Brazil. It was a very sad, melancholic day. The last picture is of the sunset that day.

Picture 2 – At a restaurant in Ottawa. Was I ever young!!

The following pictures shows my ESL class, Alan & I at Île Notre Dame, a squirrel (I was fascinated by the squirrels, I must have dozens of pictures of them! Now I think back and shake my head…), relaxing at the neighbourhood pool, watching Adrienne (Alan’s daughter) diving, group picture after a BBQ with all of Alan’s friends….

Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

13 thoughts on “July 13, 1997”

  1. Alexandra!
    That’s so special! I loved to read your story :)
    I love romance and love stories that work (before the end of course). I also fell in love but with Vancouver. I did leave my heart here but it didn’t work and i came back because of myself.
    Happy Aniversary! Can i add you on facebook?
    Patricia

  2. Oi Alexandra também adorei a sua história! Com a diferença que a minha alma gêmea é um brasileiro, eu também tinha os meus 19 anos de idade quando tive certeza que o Maurício era (e é até hoje) especial e “feito” sob encomenda para mim rsrs. E agora, depois de mais de 10 anos de história juntos, estamos aqui no Canadá vivendo juntos mais um sonho!
    Lindo como você escreveu, parabéns e muitas felicidades juntos!
    bjs
    Paula

  3. Com certeza Raquel!! Só avisa isso pra minha mãe que reclama constantemente do meu cabelo… É o maior drama! “Pq vc cortou o cabelo?? Está horrível!!” Coisa de mãe que gosta da filha com cara de crente, sei lá…

    Eu agora estou deixando a parte da frente crescer um pouco mas deixando a parte de tras bem curto. Abaixo dos ombros nunca mais!!

  4. Olá!!

    Estou na lista do canada immigration, e uma colega de lá me deu o endereço do seu blog!! Ao contrário de você, desde os meus 15 anos que me apaixonei pelo Canadá (= E acho que finalmente, em uns dois anos, estou indo morar aí. Vou tentar o processo de imigração via Québec. Adorei o seu blog e as suas fotos!! Sou fotógrafa (jornalista de formação) e pelo que a Andréa me falou você também é!
    Gostaria de manter contato contigo, se possível trocar idéias sobre mercado de trabalho por aí!!

    Grande abraço (de Recife)

    ps: esse post está lindo!! Amei!! Não é todo mundo que tem a sorte de encontrar o príncipe encantado tão cedo (o=
    Ainda estou esperando o meu hahahaha

  5. pps: acabei de achar as fotos da sua D80!! Muito legal essa máquina!! EU estou usando agora uma S3 (fuji) estou gostando muito!!

    ppps: adicionei seu blog aos meus favoritos!

  6. Rossana,

    bem-vinda ao building bridges e obrigada pelos elogios! Mas infelizmente eu não su fotógrafa não!! A não ser que sua definição de fotografa seja alguem que saia por aí tirando fotos das coisas e aprecie a arte em si… Faz só uns dois anos que investi em uma SLR e saí por aí tentando aprender mais dessa arte tão fascinante. Eu sempre tive um pouco de inveja de pessoas com talento artístico, que podiam desenhar, pintar, escrever, etc e nunca pensei que eu pudesse fazer algo assim. Nunca me imaginei como uma pessoa criativa mas a fotografia tem sido super importante pra mim nesse sentido. Pela primeira vez me sinto capaz de criar algo mais artistico, embarco em projetos (como, p. ex, o projeto sobre bebedouros: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39604225@N00/sets/72157594343276026/), e coisas assim! Vou visitar seu blog!

    Boa sorte no processo de imigração!

  7. Que legal!!! Adoro histórias de amor… e sempre fico com olhos arregalados quando ouço histórias de amor a distância… a internet proporcionou tantos encontros, que jamais seria possível sem a ajuda dela, né?!
    Parabéns para vocês!!!
    Vc casou novinha… assim como eu… 22 aninhos!
    Beijos grandes e divirta-se muito em Montreal!

  8. Querida Alexandra,

    Que linda a sua historia! Eu nao conheci o marido via internet mas tambem estavamos morando em paises diferentes quando nos nos conhecemos. Nos mantivemos a relacao longa distancia por dois anos e meio e tambem nos viamos a cada tres meses. Para te dar uma ideia da loucura, em um ano e meio eu fui a Europa tres vezes. Tudo que eu ganhava acabava indo para as viagens. Mas valeu a pena.

    Parabens para voces dois e espero que curtam bastante a viagem a Montreal.

    PS: Voce e’ bonita tanto com o cabelo longo quanto curto. Com o cabelo curto vc fica mais com carinha de professora universitaria.:-))

    Beijocas,

    Regina

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