Monday, June 29, 2009

Welcome to Canada

As far a signs on a wall go, this one is my absolute favourite:

I’ve seen it a good few times. Right below the wheelchairs – as you ‘de-escalate’ to Canadian customs. I snapped that shot four weeks ago when Kate and I landed in Toronto – after nearly two years overseas.

Before leaving Brisbane I told a cab driver about my upcoming trip home. He was unimpressed. He said: ‘My niece is getting married in the UK next month, I haven’t seen her since she was four years old. And I can’t afford to go to this wedding either. Two years is nothing!’. Fair enough – Australia is a fair few dollars away, and we are lucky to be able to afford the trip. And maybe two years is not that long - but I did really miss home. I had spent two Christmas holiday’s ‘family-less’. It was time to see my brothers, my parents, the boys. And there’s another thing – and this will sound stupid - I have been craving Taco Bell, Tim Horton’s, Harvey’s, Wendy’s, and East Side Mario’s for many months - especially Taco Bell. I have never been accused of overly healthy eating. Incidentally I put on about ten pounds in four weeks in Canada.

I could write about our trip for days. But I won’t. Let me just say that we saw many of our friends and we had a great time. It seems like in the two years since I’ve been gone – most of my friends and family have been ‘winning’ in the game of life. We saw a lot of smiles. Our friends are moving up in the work world, getting married, starting families. I suppose that’s what happens in your late-twenties, early-thirties. Since I left, my parents have also changed. They have moved to their own little country paradise and they’re smiling a lot more. Here: let me just share a few pictures.

First, here's my little lady. Thrillied to be back in Canadia.
The Huckstables.
Michel, Bryan, Andy on Rice Lake.
A beersby tournament. Of course.
Marek, with the t-shirt of the month.
Officer Merril, me, and a small wolf-pack.
The lovely Lowe sisters.
Matt and Ziggy. My dad doesn't look as comfortable on a horse as he does on a volleyball court, but he'll get there.
Katrina and Greg.
Andy and Matty. We all got dolled up for a good friend's wedding.
My mom has gone completely 'country' since I left. Why not.

There are many more... but I have to draw the line somewhere. Let me leave you with a Sauble Beach sunset over Lake Huron. For all the thousands of miles of beautiful beaches in sunny Australia, very few Aussies get to see a sun setting over the water. It’s an east-coast country. And if you want to have a beer and enjoy the sunrise – well then you’re drinking at 5 am :)

No doubt that Canada was great to visit but I'm happily back now. Brisbane is home for me now - Kate and I will likely be here another year or so – and it’s good to be back. Taco Bell or not – this place relaxes me.

At the Virgin-Australia check-in counter at LAX – the ‘airline guy’ asked me for my country of residence. I said: “Brisbane, Australia” and the young Aussie girl behind him who was heaving luggage onto a conveyer belt looked up at me and shouted “Queenslander!!!” - and as soon as I heard her accent, I felt a sudden wave of comfort come over me. There’s something about the people in this state. It has to be the heat. It's as if they understand that life is not supposed to be difficult. They laugh a bit more. They have a bit more fun. I’m pretty sure I will be drawn to this place long after we leave.

1 comment:

Taco Bell Canada said...

Hey there. I was perusing the interweb for people talking about Taco Bell and I happened upon your blog. My name is Hessie Jones and I work with Taco Bell in Canada. It was so nice to run across your blog. It's unfortunate that you were unable to give into your cravings while you were in Canada. When you're back in town, we would love to treat you and a few friends to a Taco Bell meal, courtesy of Taco Bell. Please DM us on Twitter @TacoBellCanada. Cheers, Hessie Jones