One of the things most people do not know about me is that I am Canadian. My family went back and forth to the US a lot. Some of us were from the US and some from Canada. I was in the states for more years of my life than Canada, and most people just assume I am American. After 911, Americans who knew I was Canadian liked to tell me to “Get Out!” so I laid low as much as possible and did not tell anyone who did not need to know.
I never went for my US citizenship even though I lived there for many years. I often felt bad about that and thought I should go to the effort of getting US citizenship, but I just never did. There are a lot of hoops to jump through and I just never did it.
Well, not now! When I am overseas, I wear my citizenship proudly and thank God I was too lazy to get the US status.
I travel on my Canadian passport and my nationality has turned out to be a huge blessing as people in the places I have traveled seem to be more favorable to a Canadian than someone from the US. I first found this out when I lived in Belgium in 1979. There I learned to say I was Canadian in the first moments of meeting anyone. It was a shocking revelation to me to see the visible relief when people know I was not American.
And more importantly than the personal issues, people from the US are now cut off from opening bank accounts and crypto exchange accounts in many places now. This is due to the strict financial reported required by the US. Many countries and institutions are opting out nightmare of regulations by refusing to open accounts for US citizens at all.
When I open accounts in various countries, I see the list of excluded countries and there they are – all the “terrorist” type countries, the US, and US protectorate countries. This is such a strange grouping and I am so glad not to be a part of it. Often their will be a separate check box you use to confirm that you have no second passport for the US. I am always so grateful to be able to click it.
Now my Canadian passport has come through for me again in Kuala Lumpur. My landlord works for a company that helps Malaysian citizens emigrate to Canada and they want to hire me as a consultant! Here are some details:
What will I do?
- Malaysian people come in for a free consultation and need to understand how to qualify. There are multiple factors as to age, finances, education, English language skills, and others. I would walk the person through this information to see if they qualify.
- At the same time, I can answer any questions they have about Canada.
- Once I have done some of these interviews, I can start working on the packages of people who are in the process of qualifying. This would be a matter of showing which areas are “done” and which need to be completed.
- I have a possibility of tutoring clients of the firm who need help with their English language skills. They need to pass the IELTS test, which is quite rigorous. Although most of them have strong English language skills, some have difficulty passing the test. I have experience in helping others to pass standardized tests, so I think this would be a good fit.
What will I get?
- I will be paid $100 CDN in MYR for any client who signs up for the full consulting package after meeting with me for the initial free consultation. I will need to sit in to consultants interviews to learn the ropes and this will be unpaid.
- Other payments are yet to be determined and will be determined at the time I start do the work,
- The firm will arrange for me to obtain a Work Visa for my time here.
- The firm will help me open a Malaysian back account.
Those last two are huge benefits for me. A Work Visa is for a longer period of time than a Tourist Visa, and I will not have to keep coming and going every 90 days. In Thailand I could open a savings account with a tourist visa, but it has a lot of restrictions on it. In Malaysia I cannot even get that. Having a local bank will help my in many ways.
- My Canadian Passport is the biggest benefit to the firm. It gives them legitimacy to have an actual Canadian on staff.
- My advanced years (I’m 58) work in my favor. The people applying for this program are generally 30-45 year old professionals. The firm wants an older person instead of someone fresh out of school.
What about those clothes?
My clothes are comfortable, worn and not professional but any means. The person I interviewed with told me I look like I am walking around in a house dress and that this will not do! Additionally, my shoes and purse are also not acceptable. I need to look highly professional due to the clientele I will be meeting with.
So now what?
I ended up going to this interview two days in a row. Yesterday, I waited 1.5 hours and was never seen before I gave up and left. I guess a paying client showed up unexpectedly right before I was to have my meeting. Over email we re-scheduled for today.
I have been in a very bad arthritis flare for about the last two weeks. I do usually get a few flares a year, but this is by far the worst for many years. These two outings have been very difficult and I am pretty much sleeping to try to recover.
Somehow I am going to need to get clothes and shoes that are suitably impressive to a professional Malaysian person. My interviewer told me I can wear a pant suit since I have edema and need to wear socks. If I do not wear them, my feet and lower legs blow up into big balloons of fluid.
My shopping skills are weak in the best of times. Please God, give me strength. Do they have thrift stores in Malaysia? Can I determine what is a good outfit for this purpose? Can I cram my arthritic and broken feet into something acceptable for a migrating engineer to gaze upon? Do they even have professional looking shoes in this giant size of my feet?
I think I will rest and worry about all this in the morning. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and of course it is going to work out. I continue to say moving to Kuala Lumpur was an excellent choice for me and I only wish I have done it sooner.