It has been a remarkably eventful 6 months in the states. I
- Finished my nursing degree
- Started a very stressful 3-month long job search
- Came super-close to having some sort of anxiety-ridden breakdown related to said job search
- Ended the job search by lucking into an awesome interview for my dream job…which I was then hired for
I did not move to Quebec (they’d hear one word of my French and kick me out of every hospital from Hull to Sept-Iles), but I’m vacationing here now–one last month-long journey before I forevermore measure my vacations in week-long PTO blocks.
That thought’s depressing…so here! Have a happy list! It lacks pictures because my current computer is horrific for photo-editing. I’ll have a solution by my next update! The [bracketed] notes give you an idea of what photos I’d like to put in…
5 Things I never realize I’ve been missing about Quebec until I’m back in Quebec
1. Dana’s stairs
Dana resides on the top floor of his apartment building, but even if he lived in the lowest apartment, he’d still have to cautiously creep up at least one flight of stairs to gain entrance–because the architect wanted to ensure no one missed out on staring death in the face. The architect also wanted to kill the local coffee shops–who needs coffee, when you have to teeter down the brink of death every morning to exit the building?
[insert picture of Dana’s stairs, which resemble the narrow, chiseled steps of Mayan ruins]
Friends, I face imminent peril on a daily basis. Oh, how I’ve missed the adrenaline rush. It’s a love/hate kind of thing.
2. Green stuff everywhere
Let’s face it: by this time of the year, Texas is beginning to fade into a beautiful shade of sepia–and unless there’s a flash flood in the near future, by the time I hit southern soil the landscape will be a veritable study of the color brown. And the last time I was here, everything in Quebec was gray and full of frostbite.
[insert picture of Don & Yvonne’s garden, which is full of 6 types of tomatoes and ambitiously large grapes]
P.s. When green stuff is pulled out of the ground and taken to a farmer’s market here, the prices are not nearly so outrageous as those in Austin. Yay!
3. Eating outside
Hull/Ottawa this time of year is like a Texas spring, or what I imagine the weather in LA to be year-round: generally sunny, temperatures in the 70-80s, with a wind that carries hope and happiness and smells like rainbows. It’s exciting. Since this weather is not present year-round, because this isn’t LA, people tend to do everything possible outside in the summer: restaurants open windows and patios, stores set up racks/booths, festivals abound, and buskers play corners.
[insert photo of street performer spinning fire]
Who are we to buck the trend? We’ve eaten outside for almost every meal, and I think it’s something we’ll continue.
[insert photo of delicious dinner]
4. Canadian change.
A handful of coins in the US could be anything from $.30-$5. A handful of coins in Canada is likely to be at least $15. How exciting! Loonies and toonies ($1 and $2 coins, respectively) are the best.
Full disclosure: Some days I don’t miss French…at all. I like reading road signs, and understanding the radio, and while I never have any trouble getting around, my lack of linguistic proficiency is a constant reminder that I’m an outsider, and probably always will be.
But. It is humbling. And funny, sometimes–and it makes me wax poetic about language and knowledge in general, and it’s a beautiful language to listen to.
[insert picture of Dana making fun of my French]
It’s good to be back! Dana and I spent today walking all around Ottawa’s annual WestFest, where we talked with street vendors and listened to a band and window-shopped. Tomorrow we’ll road-trip it to Toronto, where Dana will be attending a conference and I’ll be studying for the NCLEX.
May the road rise to meet you,