Thursday, May 10, 2012

Does anyone remember when I lived in Canada?

Well it is now two weeks since I arrived back on the continent feeling a little worse for wear having travelled through three countries and four airports. It wasn't helped that afterwards I was subjected to an hour tube ride during which I tried not to fall asleep despite my lolling head as I sat on my rain soaked luggage and probably looked like I had wet myself, but I was home(kinda) so I didn't care too much. At St. Pancras I went to M&S and bought my traditional pasta salad and after that it was pretty much like Canada had never happened. Even after all my time away I still recognised a few of the staff which was partially comforting and partially embarrassing. I always seem to be there with a silly amount of luggage and thrust change (POUNDS!) over the counter with tears in my eyes as I try not to drop anything. If you drop anything in London you are screwed. Nobody will help you. It's a dog eat dog world. Last year when I moved out of Exeter I had two suitcases, a camping rucksack, my laptop bag, and a handbag and I was sleep deprived, dehydrated and hadn't eaten anything. By the time I got to St. Pancras I was pretty much dead and I semi-collapsed by the lift to train and in true Londonian fashion everyone just trotted on past me, but when I got to Kent everything was good again. It was like that again - minus collapsing. I felt pretty rough though by the time I got to Chatham so I figured it was probably necessary to put 'feminism' on the back seat and sigh noisily until one of the station guards offered to carried my cases up the stairs for me. I only expected one to be carried, but my sigh was even more powerful than I had first imagined and I got it all carried for me. Hurrah. When I left the station where Charles picked me up in his car. I remember being a bit disorientated by the fact that I was allowed to sit in the front (last time I was there he was still a learner), but to be honest the rest of that day was PRETTY hazy. I know I had a pretty excellent 1hour nap that mutated into a 3hour nap and I had to be dragged from bed against my will to give my sleep pattern any hope of becoming normal again.

I have reverse culture shocked a number of times:

- Cars driving on the left (one time my mind jumped into a minor panic as I thought Charles was driving on the wrong side of the road and leading us to an untimely death)

- Pounds coins. 5ps are the size of 10cent pieces, but 10 is not 5. Madness.

- TAX BEFORE CHECKOUT!! I bought a Yorkie and it said it was going to be 65p...and....and it WAS 65p. I wanted to hug the cashier, but I thought that might overstep some boundaries and would not be appreciated.

-General cheapness.

-Everyone having an English accent.

-The gocompare adverts:

- Being in a car.

- Access to iPlayer!

- Not being a novelty item :(

There have been a lot more, but I have a pretty short term memory so I have forgot most of them. I had intended to start this blog soon after my return to the motherland and slowly add things to it, but then I figured it would be easier to play playstation until my eyes bled and eat and drink items....from...a...Fridge!! Who knew how great an invention the fridge really was?!

I have had a good time since coming back. I played the 2p machines and had cider at a beach pub in Whitstable (had to throw away MOST of my winnings from the machines as I'm pretty sure they were in there since the beginning of time. They were sweets with writing on them...most of which were either "Happy Birthday" or "Big Boy" and I didn't understand what they were doing in the same packet). I've eaten chip shop meals, pizza express, pizza hut, Indian, TOAST! We went to the zoo and I fell in love with the Javan Langur monkeys:

I saw Matilda the Musical which was also quite a life changer. I felt inspired:

Basically, Canada has very quickly become a memory. This means no disrespect to fine nation of Canadia, but I've been doing so much and I have slipped back into my routine (Pointless, the Apprentice, sometimes leaving the house) it kind of feels like I never left, except for the fact that the top of my suitcase if filled with tacky Canadian souvenirs. Flags, hats etc. The bare essentials basically.

During the trip I did feel some sadness, in fact I teared up a couple of times. But I think that had more to do with my hatred for flying and that no matter how far I felt I had got in my journey I still appeared to be a ridiculously long way away from my final destination. I looked out over the Toronto and realised that I had no idea when/if I would see Canada ever again and it felt a little strange, and then I went on to the entertainment system and realised there was no bejewelled which pretty much pushed me over the edge emotionally. I did manage to numb my mind with an insane amount of film/tv - an hour of We bought a Zoo, 500 days of Summer, Futurama, Bob the Builder (obvs), the Descendants, Harry Potter 7 part 1 (the only Harry Potter I hadn't seen...and I kind of wish I hadn't. It would have sent me into a coma if the turbulence insisted that I stayed in awake for when the plane crashed). 

I do feel nostalgic for chipmunks from time to time and it does confuse me that other ESNA people are still in North America and that I saw some people pretty much everyday for 8 months are still there and I may not see them again. But...you know..I'm fairly fickle. I've got months of Pointless to catch up on and red pesto in the cupboard so I'm pretty much cool with being back in Europe and Canada....you are a good memory, but a memory nonetheless.

Well. Now I'm going to go sit on my sofa in Luxembourg and wait for someone/ANYONE to come here and entertain me, or most likely just hang around for a month until my summer actually starts. On the plus side I am most likely going to Spain...because Europe is compact and beautiful and it's all just a hop skip and a jump away, unlike you Canada you huge beast!

Happy 100 posts.

                                                                      Miss me Canada.