Monday, 30 August 2010

"Tu vuo fa l'Canadiano"

As the title suggests, yes today I officially pretend that I am Canadian. I moved into my lovely abode. I officially moved into my first (maybe last) canadian home (who knows). Wow, a scary notion that one. I keep saying it to myself and the reality never really kicked in until now. I in Canada. Nonetheless I am still very much not feeling canadian. The everyday colloquialisms are an endless treat and they regularly amuse me as they frequent my daily conversations. I went food shopping for the first time today. Was actually more of a big deal than I generally would have thought. I had no expectation about it, getting food was and still is something that was waayyy wayyyy down the list of things to 'give a damn about right now', so I hadnt really thought about it. Food generally, is expensive here. Meat, cheese, bread and cereal all generally speaking expensive products. DAAMMNN it, my staple diet! I guess because of the limited number of stores in addition to the transportation allows for a price premium (basic principles of supply and demand at its best). Most canadians seem to blame such prices on the recession and state of the economy.

I woke up this morning, after about a 14 hour sleep due to some (really not so exciting) Canadian bug. I was bed ridden for 24 hours, much to my annoyance. If there is anything I hate more in the world, it is being ill. Its that feeling of helplessness and the necessity to do nothing apart from sit and wait and let your body take its natural course. Frustrating one which I hate not having any direct, immediate control over. So where was I...oh yes. I woke up early and checked out of the youth hostel first thing. I headed straight onto campus to finally get my student ID card (yeeeh, part of the system now fellas!). They call it the 'one card'. As in the ONE card that solves all your problems in life, poverty, famine, slavery, obesity the works. A truly remarkable and life changing card for those who seek a pilgrimage of knowledge....ok, im playing this up a little. I found the name rather ironic on the basis that we were told 'you need to get this one card, you can do everything on it', shortly followed by a talk that began with 'oh, and you need this card as a swipe card to get into your building in the evenings and weekends'. Oh how I was tempted to be the cynical at the back of the home and go 'well, you said it was a ONE card, this is quite clearly and inevitably TWO cards', but apparently Canadians don't appreciate such dry and inappropriately blunt British humour (its something I will have to work on).

   /kəˈloʊkwiəˌlɪzəm/[kuh-loh-kwee-uh-liz-uhm] –noun
1.a colloquial expression.
2.colloquial style or usage.

Recently (and to psycho-analyse myself) I seem to be going through a stage of Canadian mockery. I have no idea why and perhaps one of the many PhD (goers) whom shall inevitably read this, might be able to shed some light on such anecdotal behaviour. Something to do with the breaking down of one identity to form another, perhaps some attempt to protect my discontent for acceptance of another hegemonic culture...I dunno. Nonetheless, I find it fun and relatively good banter with some of my acquaintances.

By noon, I had, had (the double had's just annoy me) coffee with my 'buddy' which was nice. It was nice to speak a little more bluntly than usual. I took my daily dosage of skype and facebook (which is a little more extensive than usual) except, I still end doing less actually 'doing' and just staring blankly. Its a nice brain freezer, I dunno. I have too many people I wnat to keep in touch with, tell then about my days and ask them about theirs at the moment. Funny how it takes you to go half way around the world before you want to say HI again isnt it? Such is life.

Then then got my arse into gear a little and went to move into my new house! yyyeeyyy. I am living in a nice basement apartment just off the university. Apparently a stones throw away, but this is a theory that I shall definitely test when I get some down time (I endeavour to literally throw a stone). I have a wooden (laminate) flooring (apparently according to my mother, thats stereotypical canadian, alright mother 1-0), a double bed, my own bathroom (so I can sit and stare at the mirror and self-loath). Its a lovely apartment, great location. The location thing will certainly earn its looney (thats a dollar for the non-cool kids-great example of my colloquialism banter) come november when the 'great chill' shall covet thy earth and all shall be banquished to the world of snow, snow and more snow. Oh yes england, the difference between canada and the UK is that canada just knows its coming every year. England just blindly believes snow doesnt exist until it suddenly becomes a great excuse not to go to work for a day and take a long weekend off. My housemates are very nice, Brena (Canadian) and Lauren (American). That's right, the power three house. UK, America and Canada. A good combination if you ask me and they shall be awesome to live with im sure. Both friendly and chatty. I have finally, at lllllaasssst been able to just spread my life about. There is nothing more enjoyable than simply providing objects that you own, just a little personal space. Space that you have decided it deserves, a book here and mug there. A shirt in here, oh and my toothbrush there. Odd behaviour and a rather instinctive one. Yet highly enjoyable. So tonight I sleep in my castle. My world and content in the knowledge that my world shall not be rudely invaded and awaken by 7 other men snoring, packing bags and shifting places. Sound in the knowledge I no longer have to padlock my belongings in the fear that just maybe, JUST MAYBE tommorrow that passport and wallet just might not be there. OK (im sounding so very middle class right now). You catch my drift, and although seemingly little to most, its a very liberating feeling.

So what have I got lined up. The fun doesnt stop. I have a MASSIVE meeting tomorrow at 11am (8pm GMT). Should be really interesting. Banging my supervisors head with another big wig academic within my department to see what direction my phd might take and how I can get involved with a bigger research consortium (named SPLISS). Shall be interesting, in a I like this sports policy crap although its kinda geeky, sort of way. I have lunch planned with another friend of mine, always good times. She makes me smile. With the possibility of a BBQ later, depending on whether this stuuuppid and unwelcomed canadian bug checks-out early. It better. I also need to acquint myself with my new office, along with a 20 item long 'do-to list' which I shall definitely start to chop down. I can feel like, I am nearly at a stage whereby I can function, you know? I can actually organise and arrange my life and start to have some sort of valued output. Friday I shall be FINALLY attending the infamous WEST EDMONTON MALL, this shall be an epic day out (and yes, the mall is soooo BIGGG it constitutes an entire day out)
I shall blog about this particular venture alone.

"In fact something quite amusing I found out today:

Google--> Edmonton
Look at images

From it:
you get a picture of the west edmonton mall.

Yeh, not the first one, that is pretty standard. Yeh... that is right, the second one, yeh the one with all the slides and rubber dingy's. Yeh that is how canadians shop, apparently...kinda cool huh?"

Well, for the first time, this (for now) faux canadian wishes you good song and cheers. As you might infere from this blog, my mood is somewhat brightened and less anxious than the previous. Hopefully this is the start of actually getting into the ryhthem a little more, finding myself and actually settling down so I can go and have some fun. Cant wait.. roll on tomorrow...


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