Alexander Chudis: Adjusting to Life in Winnipeg
Location:The home of Alexander Chudis, outside Winlaw, BC
Date:Wednesday, October 5, 2005
ID:Digital audio recording #: 20-05:25
RT: And what was the next move?
AC: Winnipeg. And by that time that was January 1975 and that to me was one of the most difficult things that we had done was move from where I was born which is really warm [former republic of Moldavia], to Israel which is warmer, to Belgium which is kind of wet, to Winnipeg which is just frigid, freezing cold and in 1975 the winters were harsh. I mean now obviously things, with Global Warming, things are a lot warmer. But, holy-moly, I hated Canada. [Laughter].
RT: How old were you then about eight?
AC: Seven and a half.
RT: And when did your attitude about that change?
AC: Like anything it takes time, a couple of years.
RT: Make friends and stuff.
AC: Yeah, that was hard too. I think when you come into a country and kids are mean sometimes when you have a bit of an accent. On top of it all it was the Eagle and the Bear, the cold war was going on and so people don’t see …
AC: Well don’t see beyond, even in a private Hebrew school, don’t see beyond the Russian part. Coming from a tough stock, coming from the school of hard knocks and surrounded by a lot of sheltered, very soft (I called the North American Jews very soft), thin skinned … I basically fought for my respect, you know, stood up for my rights. Maybe acquired a bit of a bully persona going throughout elementary and junior high school but if that’s what it took for me to gain respect I was going to get that, and that’s what it was and that’s fine.