I’m truly not in Kansas, or the United States, any more. Canada is culturally similar to the US but it’s still a different country. I haven’t lived in Canada as a permanent resident since I was in high school. This means no free healthcare, no bank account, unfamiliar stores and brands, hardly any college football on TV, etc. Even the money has changed it’s look several times. The penny is obsolete and cash is no longer made of cotton-paper but a polymer. Yup, it’s plastic with a clear window in it. I can’t watch free episodes of The Walking Dead I’ve missed and many video clips are not viewable outside the US. It’s also really cold here!! A few days after my return there was a snowstorm that dropped a few cm of snow on the ground.
I’m missing Thanksgiving in the US this year for the first time in over 10 years. I LOVE this time of year around Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s so festive and fun and everyone is in a good mood. Plus all the FOOD!!! I’ve assimilated into American life and culture very easily and I miss it already.
Something I want to take the time to point out is I’ve become very aware of the importance of everyday communication I previously took for granted. Calling customer service, ordering food, going to the post office, talking to people who’ve come to work on the house…everyday interactions with people. Being able to converse fluently, get my point across, and understand everything in a discussion will be a challenge for me in France. I took French in school from 1st grade through high school so my vocabulary is fair and my reading comprehension isn’t bad but my conversational skills are terrible! This will be a huge challenge but in the end I know my French will improve. Win! All I can do is try. Plus my new job includes 50 hours of French classes. Foibles in French, a future blog post.
disclaimer: I never said “eh” to begin with.