canada, living in canada, victoria b.c.

Things I Actually Enjoy Aboot Canada

No one in my town says “aboot” but I love saying it and typing it and I just felt like it needed to be in my title. I’m sure there are some Canadians around that say aboot, so this one is for them. And Ross Murray because he’s won’t shut up aboot it already.

I’ve now resided in Victoria, B.C. for over two years which has enabled me to accurately judge the people, places, and things surrounding me. It turns out that the more I live in one place, the more I end up liking it. I now have a strange and dare I say, loving relationship with my little neck of Canada. Here’s why:

It’s Beautiful. I have trouble saying that because I don’t like calling things beautiful unless it’s my own reflection. These are the jokes, people. But Canada has really upped the ante. I live by the mountains and the ocean (the ocean is unswimmable (not a word) throughout the entire year, so that’s a major drawback, but at least there’s water to look at) and they make a pretty good combo. There are a lot of trees left here (mainly because Canada is still extremely uninhabited) and a lot of cute wildlife. And no roadkill! Where I come from there is roadkill everywhere! There are literally deer everywhere here and yet none of them are “sleeping” on the roadside. Bravo, Canada!emerald_lake_yoho_national_park_british_columbia_canada

The People are Friendly. At first I didn’t think this was true. I thought that they were the same as Americans and that they were just making up the whole “friendly, nice Canadians” business to lure in unsuspecting tourists. But no, they’re friendly and kind to each other. And they’ve accepted me into their country, almost. If only I could get legal status, then I would really be livin’ the life.

Their Money. It’s colorful, bits of it are clear, and they got rid of the penny. These people know what they’re doing. Greenbacks are all fine and dandy, but we need to rid ourselves of the penny once and for all. I’m “sorey” to say but we need to follow Canada’s lead on this one.currency

Their Willingness to Laugh. A lot of the Canadians that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have been super cheeseball. But I have to hand it to them–they’re ready to laugh at any time. They want to laugh! These are my people. I just have to spend some time refining their senses of humor. Not everyone is cheesy, but almost every single person.

They Have At Least One Dumb Politician. Yay! We’re not the only ones with embarrassing political figures! Rob Ford, we welcome you with open arms. As long as you stay in Toronto and keep embarrassing your countrymen.Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Chapters/Indigo Bookstores. Man, I never thought I could love a bookstore so much. Like, I seriously have a love affair with this place. The outside is grungy, but the inside is magical. They sell books of course, but they also sell home goods, jewelry, bags, accessories, seasonal goods, candles, and of course, Starbucks. Barnes and Noble, TAKE NOTE.

Pubs. Canadians take their drinking rather seriously. But not seriously enough to sell alcohol in their grocery stores. Ever since moving here, I’ve been impressed with the amount of adorable pubs that this country has to offer. I don’t even drink, but I like to have a comfortable place to watch my friends drink. Not some smelly old bar.

Their History. Canada definitely knows how to make attractive legislative and Parliamentary buildings. The one in my town is pretty schweet. Other buildings around town lack updates, but it’s kind of cool to see that some of the structures in Victoria are still standing since their erection (tee hee) in the early 1900’s. Also, I think it’s adorbs that Canada didn’t gain it’s independence until 1982. And on top of that, I have to give them props for all that they’ve done for their First Nations (AKA Native Americans) communities. They take care of them and are reverent towards their history far more than Americans have ever been. But that’s not saying much.parliament-buildings

Tim Hortons. I used to think Dunkin’ Donuts was the best place to grab a sweet treat, but I have learned to love Tim Hortons and their cheap breakfast selection. Getting a bagel with cream cheese and a coffee is cheaper than my drink order at Starbucks. Tim Hortons has a special place in my heart now.

One last thing, go check out my 5×5 interview over at You’ve Been Hooked! The Hook is a Canadian fellow who has made my new life a little lot happier! He is extremely entertaining and stumbles into hilarious situations during his job as a bellman. Go take a look!

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living in canada, Stores

Extreme Makeover: Canada

So I think Canada finally looked in the mirror and said, “Wow we’re like, a super gross country. Let’s fix ourselves!” I knew it would be baby steps after I heard the news about the Canadian introduction of Target, but never in my wildest dreams could I imagine that Canada would take their country’s makeover to the next level. Friends and family, may I have the pleasure of being the first to announce that Nordstrom is coming to Canada!

I heard the news when I was volunteering, and I thought I was going to faint. My supervisor asked me if I’d ever been to Nordstrom. That’s like asking me if I’ve ever breathed air. I told him it was only my favorite store in the world, duh. And our conversation pretty much ended after that.

It’s like God keeps answering all of my really important shopping prayers. I’m so blessed. There’s just one problem. I don’t have any money. And in order to even look at a Nordstrom parking lot you have to have some dough. I might be exaggerating a bit.

The sad thing is, I’ve almost gotten used to not spending money here. I never buy clothes for myself anymore. I never have the urge to. See what happens when you move to Canada? It changes you.

Maybe the new introduction of Nordies will light a fire within me to shop more. Even though the closest one to me will be in Vancouver. So basically I’ll have to take a ferry or plane to get there. How rude. Clearly they didn’t have my best interests in mind. Actually, I don’t think they had anyone’s interests in mind since there will only be 4 locations in all of Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver).

Canadian Nordstrom Pros: More shopping for me, more street cred for Canada, I will feel a sense of normalcy in Canada, and thousands of new jobs for Canadians.

Canadian Nordstrom Cons: Canadians working in Nordstrom and ruining everything, no actual Nordstrom close to where I live, I have no money so nothing even matters.

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canada, Food, living in canada, Vacation

That One Time I Went Camping

I did a very Canadian thing on the weekend. I went camping. If there’s one thing that I learned, it’s that Canadians are into camping. Paul and I went to buy a tent at Wal*Mart and they were all sold out. SOLD OUT OF TENTS. Wal*Mart isn’t allowed to be sold out of anything.

We went to an actual camping store and bought a two-man tent. And when I say a two man tent, I mean that both men have to be extremely small to fit comfortably inside the tent. There wasn’t too much walking (or sitting) room available. But it was cute. Good thing I don’t mind being really close to Paul.

If camping consisted of sitting in those chairs all day, I would be an awesome camper.

We set up our campsite and then we decided to go swimming in Englishman River. When I pictured Englishman river, I thought it would be a gentle, welcoming body of water–like an Englishman I guess. Well, I’m sure it was gentle and welcoming, but it was frigid as well. Like, if it was one degree colder, it would’ve been frozen. Paul swam in it like some kind of Canadian weirdo. I went up to my knees. And the minute that I announced, “I’m only going up to my knees” I slipped on a rock and my whole body went under. Very funny, God.

After that excitement, we went back to our site and had hotdogs and smores. Whenever I think about smores, I have to quote The Sandlot. “First, you take the graham…” Such a perfect scene.

Once we finished stuffing our faces, we played cards. Hearts in particular. For all you Hearts aficionados, there were four of us playing. Paul’s younger cousins were with us. They were decked out with all the finest camping equipment that we didn’t have. They brought the cards and the chairs. So without them, it would’ve been pretty boring. Shout out to Chantal because she told me that she reads my blog and thinks I’m super funny. Can you blame her? Look, you’re famous now! Shout out to Tristan because he was really good at wielding a hatchet and told me I was good at pumping up air mattresses. Even though I got lazy and stopped before it was finished.

Later on we went on a walk to see the waterfall. The actual name of the place we went was called Englishman River Falls. I should have known there would be a waterfall involved, but I have trouble putting two and two together. Actually, I have trouble putting any combination of numbers together.

We found the waterfall. I was taken aback. It was so grand and waterfall-y. Anyone would’ve surely died if they jumped off the top. Pictures cannot do it justice. But here’s some anyway:

The very tip top of the waterfall.

At night we told ghost stories and talked about scary movies. And I ended up eating an entire chocolate bar for no apparent reason. After that, I had the worst sleep of my life. But it was worth it because I had such a great time.

And apparently we’re doing all of it again next weekend….

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canada, Holidays, living in canada, victoria b.c.

Canada Day!

I just wrote an immensely awesome post about Canada Day and WordPress somehow erased it. Usually WP is really great about auto-saving, but this time they failed. Instead of writing about Canada Day, I’m going to write about how WordPress owes me big time. They can pay me back in Freshly Pressing all of my posts from here on out.  Jk I’ll write about Canada Day. But I’m not jk-ing about being Freshly Pressed.

While all of you are being distracted by the recent American tragedies (the death of TomKat and Adele’s pregnancy announcement), the Canadians are celebrating. Celebrating what?, you might ask. That’s a good question. You should Google it. Any time you ask a question you should Google it. Asking questions is SO 90’s.

Canada Day is basically Canada’s Independence Day. Like their 4th of July, but except it’s on the 1st of July and full of Canadian pride. On this day in 1867, the British North America Act (aka the Constitution Act) was signed, uniting 3 colonies into a single country called The Dominion of Canada. This is great and all, but they were still under British rule in a way. Like, if they wanted to pass a law or anything, they had to go through Parliament. Cray cray, right?! In 1982 (aka 30 years ago aka lol) the Canada Act was passed which made Canada a distinguished, sovereign land. No more “Dominion of”, just plain old Canada. Yipee!

This was my first time ever celebrating Canada Day. I didn’t want to admit to myself what a great time I was having. I was part of a human flag! Do you know what that is? It’s pretty self explanatory, but I imagine all of my readers to be complete idiots. Here’s a picture of what I was a part of.

Isn’t that cool? Aren’t you jealous? I was in the Maple Leaf part of the flag. That’s the best part. Who wants to be the boring old white part? Or the red stripes on the side? The Canadian flag is a pretty lazy design when you think of it. Obviously not as lazy as say, the Japanese flag, but you catch my drift.

After that we meandered down to the food pavilion. Mainly because I kept talking about how hungry I was. There were a series of food tents of all different ethnic delicacies. Of course Paul and I opted for the Jewish Community Center’s stand. We each got a huge kosher hot dog. We were eying the blintzes, but we didn’t want to be complete fatties, so we walked away. Quietly sobbing to ourselves.

Later on we had a BBQ and played with our friend’s kids and dog. I’m forever entertained by dogs. They never get old. Well, technically they DO get old, but you know what I mean.

Speaking of things that don’t get old–the fireworks at night were awesome. How are fireworks so cool? It’s literally fire being shot into the sky. We see them at least once a year, yet they are always awesome. They were displayed over the harbor and everyone around us was drunk and singing O Canada. It was a night to remember for sure.

Thanks, Canada. Here’s to many more Canada Days to come!

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canada, Exercise, living in canada

Profiling Canadians

Canada, much like the US, has different types of citizens. I’m not talking about races–more like different groups of the community. Here are the most prominent groups in my dissection of Canadians:

The Earth-Loving Hippies: Typically found throughout B.C. (lucky me) these folks practice yoga, use eco-friendly house cleaners (if they have houses) and drink oolong tea. Normally spotted wearing patchwork clothes and dreadlocks. They’re basically walking stereotypes of what hippies are. Often found playing sitars or mandolins in local coffee shops and spreading the word on how we, as humans, can help preserve our planet. These people terrify me.

Oh Lord, Kumbaya.

The Down-Home Industrious Type: These people are easily compared to the people of the Western and Southern States. Hard working, boot wearing, beer chugging people. They probably have the thickest Canadian accents, using words like “hoser”, “eh”, “canuck” and “aboot”. Usually found in “The Prairies” which include parts of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. I don’t know how to act around these types. I just start giggling at the first sign of a thick Canadian accent.

Rick Moranis and some other guy.

The Trendy Hipsters: Every country has them. Every country except maybe Poland. I can’t picture any Polish hipsters, but what do I know? These types are almost always 30 or younger and are found in and around big cities. Their favorite bands are ones that you haven’t ever heard of. And they buy their clothes from vintage stores in order to make them more unique than the other hipsters. They don’t drink Starbucks or eat at any mainstream restaurants. Quinoa and other next generation foods are consumed by this trendy crew. You wouldn’t understand their lifestyle. And frankly, why would you want to?

He's dressing like this ironically. If you don't understand the irony, then you don't understand life.

The Athletic, Rich, Middle-Aged Cool Cats: These people are the kind of people that the world loves to hate. They win everything, they’re naturally skinny, and they have the newest and best of everything. Basically all the characteristics I would want in a best friend. They’re always biking, or kayaking, or doing other skinny activities. They’re smart, have great jobs, yet they always have tons of time to do cool things. They make up a lot of Canada. For some reason there are tons of cool cats here and I don’t know how I feel about it yet. Too much competition for me.

I can't decide if I hate them or if I want to be them. Can't it be both?

I think that’s a pretty good list. I mean, there’s only so many different types of people here. Most of them include types of people that I hate. Question of the century: Do I have really high standards, or do I just hate the world?

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living in canada, Stores

My Shopping Experience

I used to be a shopaholic. I went to the mall on a daily basis and almost always came home with a new article of clothing. This addiction lasted for years. I’m bearing my heart, people. Not counting Christmas, I have gone over 5 months without any clothing purchases. It’s kind of refreshing. I don’t need new clothes. I have so many that it’s not even funny any more. Okay, its kind of funny.

One of the real reasons I’ve stopped shopping is because I literally have no where to go. Here in Canada, my malls are slightly below par. Their department store called The Bay is actually nice, but they sell Lourdes/Madonna’s clothing line and way too much of Jessica Simpson’s line. And lets face it, who wants to dress like either of those people? Unless there’s a Nordstrom around, I’m truly not interested.

I'm not letting her live this one down.

I’ve walked around the mall here searching for some kind of shopping solace but none exist. There’s a store called “Garage” which terrifies me. If I wanted to shop at a garage, I would kill myself and go to hell. Because I’m pretty sure that hell consists of endlessly picking through trinkets at garage sales.

They do have one of those stores that sells toys and gadgets and stuff like that. It’s called “Seeing is Believing”. Heh. I used to love those stores when I was little. I liked one in particular called “Imaginarium”. I don’t know why, but I was always intrigued by those water wiggly things. Those were a top seller.

Trust me, they're more fun then they look. (Okay, no they're not)

I love creative store names. There’s a store in the mall called “Things Engraved” and I’m baffled about how they came up with it. Seriously, I hope whoever thought of that name got a huge raise. The store, however, doesn’t interest me because I went through a phase where I needed everything engraved and monogrammed. Sorry that LKL is the best monogram ever.

I don’t know how many of you watch How I Met Your Mother but there’s a character who is originally from Canada and she used to be an 80’s pop star and sing in malls. Kind of like every pop star in the 80’s. I think HIMYM stopped being funny after I stopped watching. It always works out that way for me. Or at least I hope it does. What if its still funny and I’m missing out on prime jokes?! Actually, I refuse to watch because they cast Allison Hannigan to play a character named Lily and she really doesn’t do my name justice.

Anyway, here’s a clip of Robin and her secret Canadian identity Robin Sparkles. The main reason I like it is because she says “sorey” and “aboot” and mentions Canada Day.

Note: I cannot wait until Canada Day. It’s going to be so blog worthy I can hardly stand it.

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living in canada

Dear Property Brothers, I think I love you.

Drew and Jonathan. Or Jonathan and Drew. Does it really matter?

Whilst watching TV with my mom in bed (Yep. That happens here.) we were flipping around the channels and my mom turned on HGTV. That’s usually about the time that I peace out, but since I couldn’t feel the lower part of my body after eating McDonald’s, I decided to stay.

This show called “The Property Brothers” was on and guess what? It takes place in Canada! I was immediately intrigued. Basically, couples seek out these twin bros (the property brothers) to help them find their perfect house. The couples are eventually told that they won’t be able to afford their dream house, and that they’ll have to settle for a cheaper, fugly one instead. Lots of disappointment. But then the property bros fix up the fugly houses and make them look like perfect dream homes. Magic! Pure Canadian magic!

Paul and I live in an apartment. But eventually, we would like to be homeowners. To be completely honest, the only reason that I want to move into a house is so I can have a dog. Our apartment doesn’t allow pets. Which is a sick joke. I obviously have no other choice but to seduce the property brothers into making me us my our perfect home. This is literally the best and only plan of action I have. These brothers have to be around in 3 years, right? Right. If not, I will track them down and force them to work for me. Seems like a good way to make friends.

It’s already a lot of work living in an apartment and I literally sit around all day. I can’t imagine the work that goes into owning a house. I mean, I can imagine it since I’ve watched my parents do lots of house stuff over the years, but they made it look easy. Or maybe they made it look hard. Either way, I was probably immersed in finding various ways to waste time to even care. But now I care. And now it’s too late. So I need the property brothers.

*Side note: My parents would definitely help with any homeowner problems that we would have in the future, but I like doing things myself. And since I can’t do this on my own, I need the prop bros. Get it?

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