You may recall my post about My Uncle from a little while back. Now, here is the story of how I got a Chinese Aunt as a surprise to myself.
First of all, there was a relationship misfire. My uncle brought out a lady from China and moved her in with my long suffering Aunt and Uncle, with whom he had ended up living before he left for China. They stayed for 3 months and it was quite the nightmare. She clearly could not handle many of his OCD tics, nor could she tolerate the amount he was drinking which at the time was quite a lot..
The fact that he was quite determined to learn zero Chinese, the fact that he dumbed down his English to things like “I no like” or “It is the Up Money”, the fact that he had little money and he wanted to hang onto as much of it as he could, even to the point of denying this poor woman a bag of peanuts while he bought a bottle of scotch a day and as much red wine as he felt like.. plus the fact that he made this woman do everything for him including emptying his ashtrays.. I am assuming none of this was awesome in her book.
So they went back to China, where she unceremoniously dumped him, and he went looking for a new wife to be. After a while he did find a lady and they moved in together, and thus began his three years of living in a country where he did not speak the language at all, and he resented the fact that she spoke Chinese with her family, plus he was irritated that he couldn’t read any of the menus at restaurants, nor did he like any of the food.
After three years they decided to return to Australia, even though it meant she had to leave her excellent long term Chinese job, plus now she was in a country where she did not speak the language. She does get English lessons with her visa but he is the one who has to organise it and he has not managed it thus far, even though I have given him all the information to do so. She could not easily get a job doing what she used to do, so now she works too many days a week at a local Chinese massage place.
My Chinese Aunt is fantastic and we all love her, even though some of us do have a concern that she’ll be out the door once she gets her permanent residency – and I would not blame her if she was, to be honest. She has a daughter to a previous husband and there is already talk of her daughter and her daughters husband coming out here to live.
My Chinese Cousins toes in the gorgeous white sand.
So I also have a Chinese cousin. They visited here a little while back and we took them touring about a bit, they loved it. Even though I do not speak Chinese and the daughter has only a little bit of English, we communicated very well. I took them for a day at the beach and it was amazingly gorgeous there – the water was crystal clear, the sun was shining, even *I* went in for a swim.
I’ve told my Uncle to his face that I would find it difficult to tolerate him, and I’ve told him he needs to seek some help for his depression and OCD which just a few months ago had his wife in tears during a family visit and writing “depression” and “anxiety” in Chinese on her phone and translating it to English for us.
I fear if he does not deal with his issues, she’ll be gone faster than he can blink – just as the previous ladies were. We’re not talking a little OCD, we’re talking things like turning a computer on and off for an hour, or checking many times that his cigarette has been extinguished.
I do believe that the spousal visa system needs tightening up. Just my opinion. There are way too many people from other countries married to our older Australians whose marriages last *exactly* the amount of time it takes to get permanent residency here and not a day more.
I think the easiest way to fix this would be for permanent residency to take a much longer time than it presently does, which is 2 years at the moment, or a requirement that if the partner leaves before a certain amount of time – 10 years, I think would be fair – their permanent residency is revoked as well.