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Category Archives: Rambling

Culture (Not So) Shock

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ImageIt still irritates me a decent amount that coming to Toronto counts as study abroad and in preparing to go I had to be treated like people going to places like France and parts of Asia.

Something that was stressed hugely is the concept of culture shock. I don’t know why but every time I’ve been in Canada and find something culturally different, I always chuckle. Except now I’m not immediately going back to Boston and I have to somewhat assimilate here and the differences stick out more than ever.

One thing, which I can’t recall if I already touched on, is that no one jay-walks. I still do however and when I do, I get a death stare. I mean, if no cars are coming and I’m on a cross walk it shouldn’t be a big deal right? Right. But nooooooooo. I’ll look back to see if anyone followed me and I’m greeted with a look of disgust. It’s made me a lot more into using crosswalks for sure whereas I’d typically meander out into on coming traffic that has a gap in its flow of automobiles.

Another thing is the lack of the same products. My gosh, going to Wal-Mart had to be one of the most infuriating things I had done once I got here. There is like, nothing. It’s wild. There wasn’t the same facewash I use, the same brand of seltzer water I like and the one thing I found amusing was the influx of everything relating to hockey. Grocery shopping was pretty irritating too. It didn’t dawn on me until I was looking at frozen foods that Canada doesn’t have Bagel Bites. That’s a substantial part of my diet. I was crushed.

The last thing I can really think of is in regards to my classes. I’m taking an intro psych class and a class on Canadian short stories. When I do readings, it is all pretty simple and like regular readings but occasionally I’ll get caught up on some things. Like when I see something like “favourite” or “behaviour” rather than the spellings I’m used to. My favorite that I laughed at when I was reading was a reference to “grade one” instead of “first grade” as I’m used to. While these are amusing and kind of trip me off and throw off my concentration, it’s so weird to think that I’m the one that is on the outside here. I’m the only one concerned with speaking to my professor to ask if I will get points off if I spell “centre” as “center.”

Oh and forget about watching the weather forecast. 25 degrees is forever a bitter temperature, not something very warm.

Poutineeeee!

But for the most part I’m enjoying the things I’m not used to. For one, I’m enjoying the amount of my childhood I can relive through food m

ostly and a TV show. I lived in England when I was little so all the little things I had as child that I’m finding here are fantastic. My jaw may have literally dropped when I found Ribena in the grocery store and crushing Smarties is great too. I can combine the two while watching my favorite childhood show “Katie and Orbie,” which I was convinced was actually my life. It’s fantastic.

I’ve been here two weeks and I feel like I could be here forever.

Should I Write Again?

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Probably. I just get too bored to do so but I’m spending the summer in Toronto so it’s almost worth writing about. Maybe?

Not really.

But I’ve never been this far away from home before so when I chose to come here people kind of thought it was a joke.

“Canada? America’s hat?”
“Wow, you’re wasting your study abroad in Toronto?”
“Go somewhere actually exciting.”
“That’s practically Boston.”
“You’re taking your obsession with hockey too far.”

Honestly, there is a whole bunch of reasons I wanted to come here and first of all I ask, have you ever been to Toronto? Like hop off associating a city completely with its sports team. Oh hilarious, the Leafs are awful, the Jays are awful and the Raptors are awful. I like sports but anyone that chooses a specific city based solely on their favorite sports team or sport is a moron. Obviously a lot of people move to towns where they love a particular team — I’ve had my friends do it — and it’s more than a team. You go somewhere because you want to see that team and sometimes, everything else just falls into place. You find yourself getting past the touristy stuff and wanting to figure out the heart of the city. And that’s what it is.

The first time I came to Toronto last year was the time of my life. My friends and I came just go to the Memorial Cup over in Mississauga. Junior hockey for dayssssss. It’s right outside Toronto so naturally we came to hang out in Toronto and it just ruled. I met so many people, many of whom I still talk to, and went all over the city and did some of the most ridiculous stuff ever. I almost describe it as being like “The Hangover” except in Canada and not Vegas. What I really liked about it too is we got a chance to see a bit outside the city too. It was only Mississauga that we stayed in but we did a bit of a tour of other junior towns and it was fun to see. I came again in December and March and while those two trips were not as epic, they were great. That’s when I knew I loved this city. I could do random casual stuff and it just felt like I wanted to be here.

I’ve never been this far away from home and separated from my parents for this long so it kind of makes me nervous. I never went to camp or that far for college and while I barely go back home, my home always seems to come to me. I honestly can’t imagine going to like, China or even a place I’d love to go like Australia. It would be too unfamiliar. If I’m going to go completely out of my comfort zone and where I know next to no one, then I want a bit of familiarity.

I didn’t pick for this to be a “study abroad” but my school labeled it that way because despite similarities, yes, Canada is a different country and yes, it is international.

I really didn’t think it’d be too different but I guess I kind of only saw it as a visitor before. Now that I’m here for a longer amount of time I’m noticing a lot more things. Random things. Like everyone drives a Mercedes, wears a scarf or sweater and does not jay-walk. Much to everyone’s surprise, not everyone is a  gigantic hockey fan. It’s like baseball really. It’s on everywhere and everyone seems to be born with a knowledge of it and everyone plays it.

It’s fun and to everyone that has this weird shtick that Canada sucks and is boring, you’ve probably never been here. Or you’re probably just a boring person. Personally I could spend the rest of my life here. Me gusta.

Happy Playoffs

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Here’s my favorite new “History Will Be Made” commercial as well as some other 2010 playoff videos.


(watch the whole playlist that’s linked!)

 

Reason #293478293 Boston is better than Durham

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I could rant and rave for a pretty decent amount of time as to why being in Boston is far better than any time I spent in Durham, New Hampshire. I actually may have already written about that but it is always worth mentioning again.

Today’s reason is the president.

The entire street I live on, the Fenway, has been shut down and I’ve never seen more police in my life. President Obama is doing a fundraiser at the Mueseum of Fine Arts. Below is a screen cap of Google Maps to show just how close I am to our country’s leader right now.

The museum is the big dot, my general area is the little dot

Seriously, I’m the closest I’ll ever be to the President and I am sitting on my bed watching “That 70’s Show.” No big deal.

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Winning anyone?

 

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If there were ever a movie made about my life (which would be fantastic, I want Dakota Fanning to play me) I would NEED Muse to do all the music for it.

Jam of the Weekend

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Starstrukk by 3oh!3 featuring Katy Perry. (don’t worry, this is the clean version!)