Ariégeois in Canada, with four suitcases and lots of dreams

the essential The Monany family “rocked everything” to join Canada. After 10 years of reflection, Mohan and Rizvana sold their house in Saint-Ybars, in Ariège, and their business. Direction Longueuil, in the suburbs of Montreal, with their two children and four suitcases. They have been living there “happily” since July.

“Today, we had the first snows”, freshly introduced Mohan Monany, this Tuesday 15 November. So he is 14 hours in Canada, in Longueuil, in the suburbs of Montreal, where he has lived with his wife and two children since July; six more hours in Saint-Ybars, in Ariège, where they lived for ten years.

“We invested in clothes that keep warm until – 40 ° C “

“Next week, there will be real snow until April,” continues the man from 60 years old, almost worried. The first thing, expensive, is to invest in clothes that keep warm until 24 ° C, jackets and shoes. The Monany’s then bought four snow tires and shovels to clean their car. “We are not allowed to ride with snow,” explains the father. Otherwise, we risk a heavy fine. If it’s cold and the ice comes off, it can kill. “

If the Monany have long lived “in front of the Pyrenees”, Mohan recalls that they only saw snow “in front, on the Pyrenees”. “We did not have any during years in Saint-Ybars, he indicates, at 5 584 km away. Here, it’s all a preparation. We bought a lot of canned goods because we’re a little afraid of getting stuck. Their new neighbors, however, tried to reassure them: “They told us they were used to it here,” Mohan smiles. We shouldn’t get stuck. “

First three nights on the floor, without blanket or pillow

When they arrived on July 6, the four Monany’s found an empty apartment. “The real estate agent left us something to eat and drink in a small basket,” Mohan recalls. We slept on the floor for three nights, without a blanket, with our jackets as a pillow. »After 24 hours they didn’t have too much trouble getting to sleep. “We had nothing, not even forks, adds the one who listens to French news every day. It was the great adventure. Children will never forget this moment. “

“We had nothing, not even a fork”

To choose the furniture, the parents, vaccinated, had to make do without their children, in fourteen. “The priority was for them to feel good,” says their father. We bought everything we needed at Ikea and in supermarkets. Three days later, we received the beds. »And to smile:« As we are not handymen, we set up one per day. “Their last pieces of furniture arrived at their home on Thursday, four months after ordering them.

La neige n'a pas encore recouvert les forêts canadiennes du Mont-Saint-Hilaire.
Snow has not yet covered the Canadian forests of Mont-Saint-Hilaire. Photo DR – Monany Family
To fill their apartment, the former Ariège were able to count on unexpected help. “We were walking in the park behind our house, Michel-Chatrand,” says Mohan. We made friends with people who wanted to meet us to talk about France, but we didn’t have a table. The next day they arrived with a picnic table and four chairs. It’s awfully nice. This example illustrates the “very warm welcome” the family received in Canada. “When we say that we come from France, people are delighted, testifies Mohan Monany. We get a lot of praise, thank you. It is idyllic. »

An apartment bought by video

“We arrived here very humble,” assures the retiree. It’s important to adapt, not to compare. The Monany’s made a lot of inquiries, before moving to French-speaking Quebec. “At first, it was difficult, concedes Mohan. Here, they speak Quebec. We must be careful of mistakes. “And to illustrate:” You must not say “I take care of my kids” because that means “I take care of my balls”; when we are told “your sweater is disgusting, it’s a compliment”. We must not repeat them, not correct them. We are the ones who have an accent, not them. We are the newcomers. »And since the family is« respectful »,« everything is going well », guarantees Mohan.

“We sold our house, all our furniture, and we left with four suitcases”

Before joining Canada, “we threw everything out”, sums up the father of two children aged 9 and 10 years. “We sold our house and all our furniture, when we didn’t give it away, and we left with four suitcases. We took big risks since we bought our apartment by video, without visiting it. “To the delight of Mohan Monany,” we trusted the real estate agent and we fell in a nice neighborhood, “he smiles.

Lors d'une promenade le long de la rivière Richelieu, au Québec. While walking along of the Richelieu River in Quebec. Photo DR – Monany Family
The decision to leave Saint-Ybars, on the edge of the Haute-Garonne, is the fruit of a long reflection. “It’s been simmering for ten years,” says Mohan Monany. We inquired a lot, we took one step forward and two back. “And for good reason,” I swept 56 years of my life when I left ”, sums up the father. Before continuing: “It was a pain in my heart to sell the house we had built. The driving force was Rizvana, my wife. “

The father, a” modern housewife “

To better appreciate the quality of life in Canada, the four Monany’s traveled there in the summer 1976. “We fell in love with it,” Mohan remembers. We saw that they recruited a lot but we waited for my retirement and our eldest son to finish college. »Once his patent had been obtained, with an« excellent report », they therefore prepared four suitcases.

Mohan Monany, whose ancestors traveled a lot, specifies that he “decided to leave France to discover another country, not out of spite”. Before arguing: “My grandfather, who lived in India, fled hunger, cholera and plague at the end of the 19th century e century to reach Madagascar in dhows (a type of sailboat, Editor’s note). My father and mother were born there, too. After the military coup d’état of 728, Madagascar is close to North Korea. I then joined France in August 1960, at Corbeille- Essonne. Mohan insists: “This is different. We were well in France, we love this country. It was heartbreaking to leave. “

“I’m not ashamed. I take care of the housekeeping, I take care of the meals and the laundry. It’s work”

Rizvana, the mother, 40 years old, is now a social worker in child protection in North America. A job sought in Canada. “She obtained a closed work permit,” notes her husband. His employer hired him for three years. Me, I have an open work permit, I can work wherever I want. While his wife “has fun” at work and his children at school, Mohan “is a modern housewife.” “I’m not ashamed,” insists this former national buyer for the Carrefour group. We are happy. I do the stewardship, I take care of the meals and the laundry. It’s work. “

Food and the medical system, the” black spots “

When shopping, Mohan Monany is sometimes upset: “The difficulty here is food. There is an American influence, a lot of fast food. I have traveled a lot and French cuisine is the best. “This great lover of cassoulets and veal blanquettes, however, recognizes an advantage in Canadian supermarkets:” There are more exotic products. There are cassava, peppers, ginger, etc. That’s good. “And to conclude:” We adapt, we get used to it. “

Quelques citrouilles dans un marché ouvert à Montréal, au moment d'Halloween. Quelques citrouilles dans un marché ouvert à Montréal, au moment d'Halloween.
A few pumpkins in an open market in Montreal, at Halloween time. Photo DR – Monany Family
There is, however, a “black spot” to which Mohan Monany has not yet become accustomed in Quebec. “Here, everything goes through a family doctor,” he says. We are on the waiting list and we could wait three years. The medical system is annoying. “He had to wait 9 hours in the emergency room for an asthma attack, after no doctor was able to take care of him. What make him nostalgic for the French system, “the best in the world” according to him. So much so that he speaks of it with these words: “It’s a treasure, the jewel of France. “

“There are deer, squirrels… Every day, I am amazed”

Once the stewardship is over and while waiting for his family to join him, Mohan walks a lot in the Michel-Chartrand park, behind their apartment. There he made “extraordinary” encounters: “There are deer, squirrels… Every day, I am amazed. There is not that in France. He can also take advantage of the “important greenery of Longueuil” and the “beautiful fall colors” at 14 minutes from Montreal, noticeable on the other side of the St. Lawrence River. From Canada, in general: “It’s huge, there is something to visit,” he enthuses. From the fall, it’s fabulous. “

Before hanging up, Mohan Monany held on to send a message of hope. “I hope that our history can give birth to vocations. You can start from a small village, even at 60 years. Here, they really need French people. »And ingredients to cook a good cassoulet.

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