Monday, November 14, 2005

just a chillin day

I have to say, the longer i spend in Canada after having been away for a while, the more i see why and how Canada gets stereotyped for certain things in the rest of the world.

For instance, Canadians have this reputation of being "nice, a bit of a pushover, but extremely polite and friendly". This is so so so true. People come to a slow halt half a block before the stop sign just because they see someone about to cross the road; they say 'sorry' when they have to cut in front of you in the line to get to the other side (i think 'excuse me' would do just fine, they didn't do anything wrong to warrant an apology!); clerks in stores share with you their little frustrations of family-life and work as if they're your best friend (I had a woman who was working at the post office today tell me how the computer wasn't working since morning and "no matter what i do, it just won't work and darnit, it must be because it's Monday morning and..." blahblahblah).

I feel a bit ashamed to admit that i not only find these polite and friendly gestures and comments a bit too much and over the top, but i think they're a bit unecessary. However, it does make me smile to myself and make me feel comfortable and more at ease when i'm out and about, knowing that i'm that much closer to my neighbourhood grocer because he's shared the intimate details of his dog's bowel movements to me (no joke).

But then again, i can't help but miss the rough and tough ways of dealing with things on a daily basis in China, isn't that absurd? Perhaps "miss" is too strong a word, but there is some sort of gratification at the end of the day when you do manage to accomplish something that took a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Like buying aluminum foil. It took me ages to first, figure out the chinese name for 'aluminum foil', and then having to go in store after store to ask if they had it, only to be disappointed. Most stores had wax paper and/or plastic wrap, which they all tried to insist was the same as foil. I spent over 2 hours roaming the streets of Urumqi for this mysterious foil, but didn't succeed in the end.

I guess my point is, it's SO EASY here, to get whatever you want, need, or even things you don't need or want but after seeing it on display on the shelf, THINK you do. Like that banana basket thingy i saw the other day, where you can place bananas in this steel hammock structure that rocks back and forth. Strange, but very cool.

Last night i saw NORTH COUNTRY with mom, Allison and her dad. It was exhilerating to be sitting in a bit theatre again, totally in awe of the big screen. And the sound system - my god, i forgot how convincing and engaging a movie can be when you have surround-sound speakers!

The movie itself was pretty good, about women who work up at the mines in Northern Minnesota, get harrassed by their slimy men colleagues, file a lawsuit and win, thus paving the way for many major American companies who've had to adhere to specific gender equality guidelines since. That's the plot, but the characters are quite complex and deal with the situation in different ways - based on true events and a real tearjerker.

Today was a relaxing day, had a leisurely walk to Timmy's up the hill with Dad (our alltime favourite father-daughter activity), updating contacts on the computer and being sidetracked by many-a-websites, updating photos online (soon to come!), reading the news, visiting my bank, shopping at the bookstore and grocery store, and then cooking up a delicious pot of Kraft Dinner!

It's been years and i know there is absolutely no nutritional value in it, but i was just craving it for some reason. At least it's done and over with, I'll be set for a few more years.

Une semaine, mon cher.

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