The day had arrived for our departure and my extended family gathered at the airport to wish us well. We had a last drink together and hugged one another goodbye. The last view I had of them as we walked though the departure doors will remain forever in my mind: waving hands and tears predominated. My last glimpse of Johannesburg as we flew out of the airport was barely noticed as I dealt with my toddlers who were 2 and 3 years old at the time.
Migrating north took two days: we flew a plane from Jan Smuts airport ( the name of the airport at that time) in Johannesburg to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam; and then waited for three hours until we boarded the aircraft that took us to Pearson International airport in Toronto.
My first view of our new hometown passed in a blur. I remember feeling exhausted as I had not slept for over 24 hours. Every time I nodded off on the plane, one of my little ones would demand my attention. How I wished they would sleep at the same time! I remember feeling nervous as I entered the unknown place. There was a lot of paperwork to fill – and a lot of waiting. All I craved was sleep and yet we had to go through the process, find our bags, and comfort two exhausted children who had no understanding of what was happening.
The sight of my cousin as we exited customs was a blessing. At long last someone I knew.
And so I said hello to Toronto, and to the city I have lived in for the last ten years.
If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014