Humans of Toronto- A Grade 11 English Assignment

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By Taylor Aldor

“It was 1956 when the civil war broke out in Hungary to overthrow the communist dictatorship. The war was brutal, but it gave our families an advantage; it allowed there to be an opening on the border of Austria and Hungary. Farmers from the Austrian border were approaching families, including my own, to pay for their service of smuggling refugees into Austria. Within an hour of being approached in the middle of the night, my father and I followed the farmer, leaving my sister and mother to sell our remaining assets. I was terrified that I might never see them again. I will never forget this night, as I have never experienced the same feeling of shock in all my years. The farmer drove us in his motorcycle’s sidecar to the ploughed, frozen farm fields of Austria. The Red Cross, who was helping the refugees escape, met us there. Taxis were then hired to drive us, and other families, into Vienna. Because it was so late at night, our driver fell asleep and the car hit the side of the road and landed upside down. It was horrifying, but we were unhurt. After hitchhiking in a Volkswagen bus, we arrived in Vienna, where government officials assigned us to stay in a ski lodge just outside of the city. After a month, the day I had been waiting for, for what seemed like a lifetime, finally came. My mother and sister had found us. The two of them carried the news that every penny they had brought had been stolen by the border guards, all except for the jewellery and cash that had been sewn into the lining of my mother’s jacket. This was eventually stolen, which left us with five dollars. We didn’t know what to do at this point, so my Uncle Bill told us we should come to live with him in Toronto. We travelled on a ship during the winter all the way to Halifax, a ride that would make me seasick for the rest of my life. When we docked, we took a train to Toronto where we lived with Uncle Bill until my parents found jobs in their trade. We trusted so many people through the journey since that was our only option, but here I am today, a successful dentist, and it’s all because of my parents.” #ImmigrantStruggle #Family