The Pains of a Migrant in New Zealand

I walk the chilly morning under the tree covered park. My toes freezing, my fingers numb in my pocket. My mind is singing to whatever song on the automatic playlist in my brain. I am a migrant – a struggling one. My body is tired and my mind almost, but my spirit still up.

The temperature often drops to minus ten degrees in the morning and it is still the start of winter. I have been excitedly expecting snow, looking out the main road on the window from my room every morning. “Is there snow yet?”

No, just frost, thick frost like the one you scrape in the freezer. The mountains are already covered with snow. Each day, the white apparition keeps getting closer. I am a migrant in one of the alpine villages in New Zealand. Back in my country there is no snow. That is why I am excited for one.

That’s my daily routine five or six days a week.

At work, I scrub toilets, bath tubs, and showers. I wash soiled dishes, empty rubbish and clean kitchen. I’d be lucky if the kitchen is clean if not, it takes me more than ten minutes wiping dry dishes, cleaning the fridge and freezer and scrubbing stubborn grease on ovens.

What is happening? Why am I doing this? I don’t know.

Moving to New Zealand is a calculated Risk. Photo Taken from New Zealand Maritime Museum. Copyright PinayThinks.

I am a migrant and I am starting my life from zero. I also work with similar migrants. Most of us are professionals back in our own countries. Some from the engineering profession, others in health and medicine but here no, we start from scratch.

In my previous job when I was still a student in Auckland and working in the same industry. I work with an archaeologist and a stuntman/actor. The latter often plays the role of an assassin because he looks like one, no offense meant. He is a good martial artist as well. No, they are not migrants and yes we all clean because there are no jobs available, yet.

I feel the pain of a migrant. I feel the pain of being a stranger and away from my own land. I feel the pain of being alienated from my potential. I feel the pain of being deluded by a good marketing scheme to study and work here.

I sing my pain and frustration away – scrubbing hard, singing in my head, wishing I will own my own hotel chain one day.

I go home exhausted. We all go home exhausted. Literally and figuratively.

At night, I fight my body pains and sore feet with a hot shower. I thought that my work which does not require me a lot of thinking will give me a good opportunity to blog at night, but no. Or maybe, I am just adjusting physically and mentally. I am giving myself time.

I have always wanted to write about my misadventures in New Zealand. I have already received a good number of e-mails. Most of them wanting to come here are optimistic, others are calculated. But my goal which is to inform at least, is achieved.

My mind is drifting away. I wish to write more but my warm bed is welcoming. Tomorrow is my day off but I’m called to work. I could not say no. I want to earn and save and put up my hotel chain.

“Dreams do come true for without that possibility nature would not incite us to have them.” – John Updike


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  1. Wen | 20th Jul 16

    Hi, i have been reading almost all your blogs ’bout NZ. Just wondering, have you already find a job and got the PR already? Your blog is very helpful especially those (like me) that are planing to use the study pathway to be in NZ. Also, you said that there are those who went back home ‘coz they haven’t find a job. In the seminar that I attended, they told us that if your 1 yr open visa expires, and you don’t have the PR (yet), your employer will be the one to give you the 2yr work visa while you are still applying for the PR. How true is this? Thank you & God Bless

    • Mari | 21st Jul 16

      Your consultant must be a big fat liar. Getting a PR while on open work visa is contingent on a lot of things. First that you find a job relevant to the course you are studying. If you ask your consultants or the international marketing manager they will say it is easy to find a job here. It is their job to tell you deceptively sweet things. They earn money from that. If your open work visa expires and you don’t get an employer-assisted work visa. You go home. If you get an employer-assisted work visa. The immigration may give you a one, two or three-year visa. Most of those who go through the student pathway takes five years to get their permanent residency. It will take hard work. Go to New Zealand and you will know what hard work really is. Some get lucky that is 1 out of 10. If you take the student pathway. Don’t expect to get a return of investment on the money you spent. A student visa does not guarantee you a job or a permanent residency. You have to read the news in New Zealand. They are cracking down on education trafficking. Soon that consultant and the international marketing manager may be under investigation for deception. New Zealand earns a whole lot of money from international students. It helps their economy. But still, NZ is also guided by a business moral compass. More and more students are coming out in the open. It will not be the same again.

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