I couldn’t forget the feeling of anxiety the moment I stepped inside the plane bound for Canada two years ago. At that time what awaits me there, I have no idea. I plunge into the uncertainty with the hope of finding a greener pasture and a better life for my family back home. After two years, I’ve survived, thrived, became acclimatized, and grew to love this place that I would surely call my second home.
The Weather. I arrived first week of December, just when the wind has blown all the maple leaves away and the biting cold is quite unbearable especially for a Tropical Girl like me. I was really looking forward for knee-deep snow, building snowman on the backyard or making snow angels, but to my dismay I was only granted with fine sleets and random falling snowflakes that immediately melted as the sun rises or at they hit the ground. People would tell me that I was blessed to be living in Victoria (Vancouver Island) in the Province of British Columbia where the cold doesn’t drop as low as -40 on the Winter and doesn’t reach as high as 45 degree C during summer. But for someone who only see sun and rain her entire life, who could blame me for wishing a snowstorm when I arrived. (The photo on the right was the only “snow” I had ever experienced during my two-year stay. This was taken at around 7 in the morning.)
Springs are my favorite season. It’s that time of the year where flowers bloom and the smell of grass is in the air. It’s the season of planting, of growth, and new beginnings. It is the whitest season in the island not because of snow but because the street sides are filled with Cheery Blossoms. Petals rained down along pavements and sidewalks giving an erie feeling of peace and quiet.
Summers were so much like the Philippines only cooler because the island is packed with Pine Trees and they have a huge forest reserves that keep the entire island cool despite the scorching heat. Summer is also the time for barbecues and beer, of long drives and out of towns, of fishing and crabbing, or late afternoon stroll in the beach and long bike adventures. Summer really is the season of fun and adventure because it’s the season of longer days where the sun rises as early as 5am and sets as late as 10pm. I will be talking more about fun and adventure, the must-see and must-go-to places in Victoria BC in another part of this article.
The Fall or Autumn is the season of the infamous Maples Leaves. It is that time of the year where the leaves are at their most beautiful state. Leaves turn to orange to fire red to brown. They cover walkways and along sidewalks giving the earth a warm feeling.
The People. The people of Victoria CA are very welcoming and I must say affectionate. I always get a nod or a smile while walking towards Walmart. People are chatty especially Service Crews and Cashiers. Boutique personnels and staffs always greet you with a friendly smile. “Please” and “Thank you’s” are always spoken with utmost politeness.
On the downside, the “F-word” is a bit overused and widely spoken in this country. Although I find it extremely vulgar, improper and taboo in all its senses, I still believe that Canadians are genuinely polite and courteous. I couldn’t blame the rampant use of the word though because it is already part of their culture and system, something that someone like me who comes from the East often find a bit offensive. Maybe it just needs getting used to because I know that it’s just a matter of expression in the Western culture where it has crept into casual uses, primarily in its nonliteral sense, where they usually use it as a spontaneous expression of shock, anger, horror and more often than not, as intensifiers when someone expresses annoyance, impatience or even pleasant surprises. I guess they never mean to offend anyone when the word comes out of their mouth. When I think about it now, I find the application of the word funny especially when you hear it from someone who uses the word in almost every sentence they say. No offense meant but it’s as if they have so poor knowledge in sentence construction that the only adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, noun, and (I hope they won’t use) verb is the f-word, which I find hilarious and silly given their great command in the English language.
In totality, Canada is a place of awesome people and great environment. No pollution, no over-population and offers extremely high-paying jobs. It is a place to be, whether for vacations and laid-back travels, for jobseekers looking for abundant source of milk and honey, or for permanent settlers and immigrants searching for a new place to build their homes.
Join me as I sashayed back in time in this three-part tale of my adventures and misadventures in the Land of Beautiful Maple Leaves.
Stay in love! Stay in God’s love!