Thought it was going to be a good day for a “family” outing last Sunday, so we, Gayl, Angel, Chaos and I, decided to go to The Forks. Even though the humidity hit us like a punch in the stomach when we came out of the apartment building, we still dragged our butts to the car and drove off.
Well, the heat and humidity was too much for all four of us to bear, so we just sat on the grass in a shaded part of the Forks, let the dogs run around a bit while Gayl and I took a couple of photos, then left, with bottled water in hand and 2 panting little doggies.
The spot where we “camped” and took pictures of is called the Oodena Celebration Circle. They say you can see the constellations through the ocular round things on the armature. Cool eh! You can read all about it here.
It wasn’t much an outing, but hopefully when go out again on a better summer day.
Ok, so we have been here in Canada for almost a year now and I thought that after enough months of practice and speaking in straight English, I’d somehow get so used to it that it will eventually come naturally when conversing. There are some days when my head is on straight and talking to my Canadian office mates is a breeze, no headaches and no blood coming out of my nose. But there are still those days when I feel like my brain’s batteries are running low and my English vocabulary seem to only consist of words like “Yeah”, “No way”, “I know, right” and “Uh-huh”. During these instances when my thinking is even slower than my office computer running on a 512mb RAM, words like “teka”, “ano”, “kasi” and “ewan” escape my lips when speaking. And only when I see the big question marked face looking back at me that I realize they didn’t understand what I just said.
In fairness to us (:P), we do get compliments about how good our spoken English is considering that it is not our first language. Some even thought we have been in Canada for years already coz our “Filipino accent” wasn’t as distinct (They should hear our call center agents back home who sound like they were born and raised in the States when they talk to each other (loudly) inside office elevators). When they asked where we learned our English and we tell them that it is the basic mode of teaching in most schools in the Philippines, they were surprised. They thought that since we have our own language, it was but natural that teachers would teach in Filipino, not English. Well, I guess we do have a pretty good grasp of the English language even if we still think in Tagalog.
PERO WAG KA! Filipino / Tagalog is the 4th widely spoken language here in Manitoba! Some establishments would encourage their staff to speak in their native language when talking to a fellow countrymen, so it’s not really a surprise when you enter a McDonald’s store and you’d think you were in the Philippines coz most people are speaking in Tagalog. And because the Filipino community in Winnipeg is the largest visible minority group in the city, you’re sure to bump into a Filipino practically anywhere you go! So we do get to speak to other people in our beloved Tagalog.
So what if our thinking process is slower because we have to mentally translate some of our replies from Tagalog to English? So what if some Filipinos inter-change “F” and “P”? The thing is, we understand English better than other people think…
E kayo, naiintindihan niyo ba ang Tagalog ko? Talo ka, diba.
Been meaning to write about snow the first time I experienced it, I just couldn’t find the time, and the inspiration, to write. In other words, laziness just got the better of me. Though I still feel a bit lazy, inspiration has the upper hand today 🙂
The only things i know about snow is that snowflakes have 6 sides and that no 2 snowflakes are alike. But having only experienced “fake” snow, I thought that the actual shape of snowflakes could only be seen through a microscope. So imagine my fascination when I saw all these pretty snowflakes falling on me. I love looking at the different shapes when they land on my jacket, or on the car windows. They are like feathers (only colder and wetter) falling from the sky!
Yeah, ok, so maybe I am starting to appreciate snow (and Canada) a bit more. I just realized that I need to be if I want to make it through the rest of my stay here. If I’m going to be miserable all the time, I’ll be getting what I deserve, a miserable life. Besides, God helps those who help themselves. So I’m going to love the snow, Winnipeg, work and yes, even the cold and thank God for these blessings.
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Ok, so I’ve already missed a lot of “firsts” to write about when I got to Canada that I’ll try to run them down as briefly as I could:
Like when I first set foot on Canada soil. Well, it wasn’t as expected coz I thought that no matter what the season was, Canada is always cold. But we came during the summer so it was surprisingly warm and nice out. A nice season for skimpy shorts (which I left back home) and flipflops (also back home) and tube tops (gone, gave them away coz I thought I wouldn’t be using them here). Well that was a lesson learned the expensive way coz I had to buy new ones.
And my first bus ride. Now that was a real treat. We had to check the bus schedule over the internet where it also told us what number buses to catch going to whatever destination. It was so cool and organized. The buses were also right on the dot and stopping only at the bus stops. But that’s the only delightful thing about them. If you haven’t memorized their website or if you’re not an expert commuter, you wouldn’t know what time your next bus is if you miss the first one, and freeze your butt off if it’s winter. You always have to rely on the schedule. That’s why cars here are a real necessity specially during winter. Only in the Philippines can you get around the metro without a car, coz there’s public transport at every corner!
And then there was my first job interview which eventually turned out to be my first job. It was nerve-racking! But I breezed through it and now I’m 1 month old here already. It’s not the same as the job I love back home, but at least the people are friendly and easy enough to get along with. And hey, I’ve got a job that doesn’t include flipping burgers or manning a cash register so, I guess I still have that to be thankful for.
More firsts to come…
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I think I’ve avoided blogging long enough… 18 days to be exact!
Yes, I was sort of avoiding it.
When we got to Canada, all I could think of was writing…
About our experiences; what happened from the airport to when we got to where we were staying; how the flight went, how Angel handled her 12 hours in the cargo, how the interview at the immigration at Vancouver went when we got there; what the weather was like when we landed in Vancouver and in Winnipeg…
So many topics to talk about… BUT…
It was that big BUT that blocked all my thoughts coz I couldn’t get the words out of my mind and into writing.
Whatever topic I would start out writing about, would always veer towards my family and friends back home. And thinking about them makes me even more homesick than I already am, so I can’t.
But I guess 2 weeks is enough for me to get settled in somehow.
Sure I still miss home, but I’ve made a deal with myself… the sooner I find my place here in Winnipeg, start my own network of friends and contacts, get a decent job (or 2) for me to save enough, a car, maybe a house, the sooner I would get to be reunited with those I love back home.
So, Bring It On Canada!!
I’m a Filipino, resilient and steadfast, and I’ve weathered fiercer storms!