Sunday, September 6, 2009

Top 5 Most Awesome Things About Canada, So Far

  1. Blending in. Having lived in Trinidad, and Bangladesh before that, for six years total, Americans tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Especially for me and my mom, who, being blonde, tend to be the anomaly among locals. Some Deshis had never even see people with blonde hair, and would frequently come up to us and stroke it. Canadians, for the most part, look like Americans. On the street, we don't look at all out of the ordinary, until we start pointing at street signs and whipping out maps to cure our extreme lost-ness.

  2. The seperation (of church and state. No, just kidding) of the city, with suburbia. It's very clear, on every map, that what is north and west of the two rivers (Assiniboine and Red, which intersect at an area called the Forks) is the city, a place of work, and if you live there well then you're just plain weird. South or east of the rivers, that's where you live, no question about it. And even though they claim to have different neighborhoods (for instance, Tuxedo, the fancy, Grosse Pointe [Michigan] area; vs. Woolsely, fondly known as "Granolaville"), the suburban neighborhoods blend together to form one endless mass of houses, punctuated by the occasional school.

  3. Though Canada claims to be bilingual, it is not so to an obnoxious point. Miami drove me crazy, because it seemed like, although we were in America, Spanish was favored, and it was like an endless war between the two languages. Here, in what is not technically the French part of the country, both languages are equal in favor when it comes to street signs, but yet it's not overwhelming. So I don't feel like shrieking at these poor people to pick a goddamn language.

  4. The repetition of two kickass restaurants, Subway, and Tim Horton's. For those who don't know, Tim Horton's is basically a Starbucks, but less corporization-y. It's very popular in the Northern US (Michigan had tons) and Canada, and it appears that the people here run on it. That, combined with the deliciousness of Subway sandwiches (in comparison to the ONE in all of Trinidad), makes Robin a very happy camper. I get an Iced Capp, along with a Turkey Breast on Parmesan Oregano, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, and honey mustard. Damn, now I'm hungry.

  5. Last, but most definitely not least, and you'll chuckle, but it's true - I am the same color, if not darker, as some of the people here. We all joked I would be tan in comparison to Kanucks, and I hate to break it to you, but in some cases, that has turned out to be true. Hells yeah.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Peace Offering?

I sleep differently here. In Trinidad, you are lulled to sleep by millions of frogs, crickets, and who knows what else chirping at you through your window, mere feet from your head. It becomes white noise, and that, combined with the air conditioners undoubtedly installed in every room in the house, provide a quiet blanket of noise for you all night long.

In Winnipeg, it's different. I haven't lived downtown in a city for so long, I've forgotten what it's like. We hear sirens going at all hours, either because Canadians are particulary accident-prone, or simply because we (apparently) live close to a fire station. Whatever the reason, these sirens, combined with the occasional shouting or thumping coming from floors above and below us, don't make it particulary harder to sleep. It's just different. Compared to falling asleep knowing nature is all around you, this concrete jungle, though not as impressive as New York or London, has its own city personality and the Peggers love it anyways.