Over a period of about 20 years, Roger and I built a life. I met Roger when I was in matric (Grade 12). He taught me to drive and I bought a pink Beetle. Her name was Deliliah and she would break down/run out of petrol at least once a week. Roger and I moved in together, slowly collected used furniture, and cheap plates and mugs. Later, we upgraded our things as we could. We both had jobs and cars; we bought a house; had a child, then another. We went on holiday to the US, and renovated our house. Over 20 years. Give or take.
We have been in Canada for three months. In that time we’ve stayed in two houses, found a school for Holly, bought a car, and got a driver’s license. We’ve seen and become people of Walmart (running, screaming kids will do that to you). We’ve learnt how to shovel and salt the snow. We’ve learnt which ketchup tastes good, where to find $3 butter, and that Fortino’s (it’s like a fancy Thrupps) makes the tastiest bread and has the freshest veggies. We aspire to become Fortino’s people.
We’ve learned that the 401 highway is jam-packed in rush hour, but the 407 is empty (because you pay to use it, which explains our $800 bill!) and you need to get a transponder for your car. We know that a Loonie and a Toonie will almost buy you 1.96 liters of milk. That’s two gallons. We use the metric system here but it’s complicated. People still want to use imperial so, in order to accommodate everyone, both units of measurement are used. We just recently learnt too, that spring is spring in name alone. In spring this year we had an ice storm that almost shut southern Ontario down!
We’ve learnt that despite the strong and ongoing propaganda, Tim Hortons coffee is in fact horrible; Starbucks coffee wins every time! (Shots fired!) Canadian Tire sells so much more than tires (and it’s one of Canada’s Top 100 Employees for 2018!) – it’s a giant man-shop (as opposed to a giant-man shop) but one that women like, too. A bit like Builder’s Warehouse but one that sells sports equipment and supporters’ clothes too. I haven’t actually experienced a Canadian Tire, but the blissed-out expression on Roger’s face told me everything I needed to know.
We’ve also learnt that there’s so much more to learn! This country is like the United Nations. When we take the children to the local playground we hear almost as many different languages as there are people there. No one twitches when they hear a different accent. And with each of those different cultural groups comes a festival or an ethnic supermarket, and a whole host of different stories and experiences.
We truly are privileged to be here and to be able to enjoy everything this incredible country has to offer. It took us 20 years to get to where we felt like we were acing it! We’ve had to fast-track all of that life stuff into just over three months. We’re not quite there, but we’re getting a little closer every day. Hopefully the Bloom’s adventures in setting up our lives will continue to entertain you.