Sunday, 30 July 2017

'A Tree in Water: My Journey From Aotearoa to The Great White North' Chapter 11.

I spent most of the day hanging out with Rachel and, to my great surprise, Kevin Min. It was an incredibly exciting day, but it came out of left field. Nonetheless, it was exciting. I never could’ve imagined that I would see Kevin today, considering he now resides in Cleveland, Ohio. 

I invited Rachel out for lunch. Number one reason was to thank her for helping me out while I am here. I felt pretty confident about having a nice lunch and have a good time with her, because I spent the previous few days planning it and finally ask her, and it went pretty much according to plan. Then when I got to the restaurant, Pai, and that’s when things started to go off a little off course. Not too much mind you but a little bit. Firstly, her train was running twenty minutes late, so I had to wait in front of the restaurant for while like a schoolboy waiting in line to get into the classroom. No problem… I guess. Then twenty minutes went agonizing by, still she was no show. She called to tell me that she would take an extra ten minutes to walk from the station to the restaurant, and that someone was joining us. There I didn’t know whether to be a tiny bit upset or confused. Then came the critical time… I checked my phone. It took about a minute or two until she finally showed up with, to my surprise, Kevin. I was pleasantly surprised too see him. As I said, it’s been ten years since I’ve seen either of the Mins. 

With a surprised mindset, I was excited to enter the restaurant and spend some quality time with them and catching up, just like old times. I had dozens of questions I wanted to ask them both, especially Kevin (since he was only here during his tight two week break), and we had a lot of time to talk about what happened since they left ten years ago. Then when we wrapped up lunch, Rachel ended up paying for it. And it was pretty upsetting for me since this whole thing was my idea. So what happened? Well it’s simple. Since I’m a recent immigrant with no job and little money, and since she is a successful woman with a job in the arts, she felt pity for me and decided to pay herself. Sweet but unnecessary. I decided to get over it as quickly as possible, and continue to have fun with them. I know what you’re thinking, shouldn’t I just be grateful that I didn’t have to pay for it. I guess you’re right. But this whole thing was my idea. But there’ll be another day to do that I suppose. Next time, I’m just going to have to be pretty sneaky. It’s kind of a good thing that it happened. Now I know what to do next time.

These all started as a day for me to hang out with my old friends, just like how I did back in my childhood, and have a good time. Other than the fact that I couldn’t see the third Min, Johnny, and not being able to pay for the lunch, I had a good time just as I intended. Quite a bit happened today. I had a good time and meal with my friends whom I hope we’ll rekindle our friendship for the rest of my days here. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

I had one of the most interesting days today. Twenty-four days after I have arrived here, my opportunity had finally arrived to finally get my foot in the Canadian film industry. Enthusiastically, I dragged myself out of bed early and got myself prepared for my meeting with Robert Nowacki. Mr. Nowacki is one of the most respected Art Directors working in Toronto. His credits include the late George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead, Vincenzo Natali’s Splice, Covert Affairs, Nikita, Shadowhunters and Designated Survivor. He also happened to be the brother of my bnb host’s roommate. So you get the idea of how we got connected. 

So I got my best suit on and got myself all the way to the restaurant where we were going to meet up, The Craft Brasserie & Grill. And I got there twenty minutes early, too. I was excited. I was nervous. I was both excited and nervous. This wasn’t the most helpful feeling in this type of situation, but nonetheless it was a natural human insecurity. I’m sure I can get over it without screwing it up in the end. I hope. You know what would really suck? If Mr. Nowacki turns out to be an asshole and he has nothing to say to me except that I should go back home. You’d think that him not showing up would be the worst, but nope, my worst fear was the worst I could have imagined. This thought plagued me. I’d be able to avoid screwing up this meeting when I stop thinking about this worst-case scenario.

When the moment finally came, when I finally met the man and shook his hand, the feeling kind of lowered. In the end, we had a good time. Two, three hours went by and we talked about all kinds of things, particularly movies and the industry. It only took about the last thirty minutes of the conversation for Mr. Nowacki to finally give me some generous advice and directions to get my foot in the door since he couldn’t directly give me a job. I’ll always remember this day and look back at it. And, to be honest… I was kind of expected that it wasn’t going to go all according to plan. But should I regret this day? I don’t think so.

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