Today marks 6 months since that fateful day I stepped off the plane in Toronto.
But my first Impression of Toronto, as the express bus from the airport pulled into the downtown stop, was, Wow.
What a cool place.
I can’t believe it’s been six months since I got to Canada. Lots of things are still new and confusing, and frequently I still have cultural, lost in translation moments (ridic I know as we all supposedly speak the same language). But every day is still another day where I feel more a part of this city. With every passing week, streets become more familiar, I know how things work, I am learning little inside tricks to this city.
I still laugh at the Canadian accent (when you speak fast, you DO say ‘aboot’) and the city still manages to amaze and delight me with its versatility (yesterday I went to the Danforth little Greek Town Area for the first time and was blown away by all the restaurants).
Living here hasn’t been the easiest task in the world, there is homesickness, uncertainty, financial struggles associated with setting up in a new place, a ridiculous time difference between my family and I, not to mention the distance between us. I think that from the outside, it looks as though things have just fallen into place, and that everything has been as easy as eating 5 packets of smarties in one sitting.
But of course there have been hard times.
I am (I can admit this) an extremely impatient person. But things like, for example, familiarity with a city, or a sense of belonging, come from living somewhere for longer periods of time – something I’m not good at waiting around for. You can’t manufacture a home in a foreign place. You can’t expect to instantly fit in and have a life in a new place.
But what you can do, is love every minute of your life, and live in the present. You can appreciate the days you have, and then when you get to six months, have the luxury to look back and realize that you have had a full experience and that you made it to this landmark on your own steam.
Here are a list of the most fantastic experiences I have had in Canada in the last 6 months:
-Seeing snow for the first time and nearly crying with joy
-The North by North East music festival
-Niagara Falls and the Maid of the Mist
-Going to the Art Gallery of Toronto for free with my new camp friends after a few beers
-Montreal Crepes in Beautiful French Canada
-Lying on the docks in lake country, Haliburton ON
-Seeing the 3rd year Ryserson University Theatre class perform The Crucible
-St Lawrence Market on a Saturday Morning choosing wine and cheese
-The Christmas lights along Bloor Street
-Apple picking at Chudleighs
-Walking to work through Trinity Bell Park and seeing the Autumn leaves
-Realizing squirrels are the funniest animals I’ve ever seen
-Seeing my first ever Ice Hockey game, and wearing the Maple Leafs jersey to the game
-Walking along the Toronto lakefront and stretching out in the sun
-Dim Sum in China town…almost every weekend
-Trying crazy “Hidden gem” Japanese restaurant Guu Izikai and eating deep-fried Brie
-Performing “The Lion King” at camp for the rest of the Camp and getting goosebumps in the opening number
-Finally assembling my Ikea furniture and feeling like I had a “place.”
-Dancing at Grace O’Malley’s and looking around to spot at least ten friends
-Wrestling with the Boyfs families dogs in the park and watching them chase the leaves
-Finally making it to the top of the hardest inflatable in the Lake at Camp Timberlane
-Walking with my English and Aussie camp friends along the water front in Montreal and snoozing in the shade
-Trying “real” maple syrup for the first time.
-Playing tour guide for someone else
-Having “real” Shabbat dinner with my friends family in her beautiful home and being surprised with a birthday cake
-Seeing Mumford and Sons at the Air Canada Centre
-Chinese food at 4am
-Going to London Ontario and seeing all my Canadian camp friends at Uni there
-Dancing like crazy at Saturday night “socials” at Camp Timberlane
-Going to TIFF and sitting right behind Francis Ford Coppola
-Seeing the Lights and makeshift ice skating rink at Town hall.
There are so many more things I could add.
Most of the experiences I have had have been made extra amazing because of the people I’ve shared the moments with. My new Canuck adopted family of ragtag Torontonians.
Who knows what the next 6 months will bring? If it goes as well as the last six…well…then I’ll be happy!