Sunday, February 8, 2015

That time I {almost} went on strike.

Let me add some context to what I’m about to share with you.  Let’s go back a few years to what M and I now affectionately call the strike of ’07.  We were fresh off the plane as expats in New Zealand and Mat was whisked off to the Philippines on business for a week leaving me alone in Auckland. 

I’m not proud of the fact that I almost never left our hotel room.  It was then that I learned why they call it homesick.  Fear, uncertainty and loneliness closed me off to a new culture. 

We laugh at the story now as legend.  I went on to assimilate quite nicely to life in New Zealand.  But there was an adjustment phase.  In fact, there are a few phases to expiating.   

Keeping this lesson in mind, my recent reflections on our second expat home may not be so surprising. I’ll be honest; this time around I skipped the honeymoon phase all together.

Today, Feb 8th, I sit looking out my window in Toronto and I’m done with winter {and I may have uttered that I am also done with Toronto a few times}.  Today was the worst.  Another day of gray, dreary snow and slush and a forecast stacked with another 5 days of the same.  

Here’s where I admit that I grossly underestimated the whole moving-to-Canada-in-the-middle-of-winter thing.  Lesson learned.  And a hard lesson indeed.

However, unlike the first time around, I haven’t gone on strike!  In fact, we’ve been doing our best to get out in the snow and explore our new city.  Evidenced by James Robert’s first attempt at a snow angel, he’s not too sure about this snow stuff either. 

This is the phase of expiating where I tend to keep score.  I’m currently mourning a variety of American paraphernalia that may sound trivial, but in actuality makes day-to-day much different. 

For example:
+people are nice
+the English spoken is understandable
+easy public transportation
+plethora of ethnic cuisine to try

+a home, with our belongings (we’re still living our of suitcases)
+weather that doesn’t require a snow suit
+a church
+Doctors we trust
+knowing my way around and where to do (key when with a toddler)
+Target (they are all closing here)
+Amazon prime
+American TV
+kids museums
+easy parking

If history is our guide, a year from now, we’ll hopefully laugh at this time.  Consider this our it-can-only-go-up-from here post. Finger's crossed!

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