Posted by: dsduffy | November 16, 2011

Observations, 3 years on


I still get asked weekly, if not daily, how long I am here on holidays and what part of Canada I am from.

Whenever I tell someone I am originally from New Jersey, something about The Jersey Shore comes up. No, I do not know anyone who even closely resembles Snooki. And no it is not a part of New York.

The number 2 question I get asked, from people who I see everyday and complete strangers, is how long I will be here for. I continue to say “I’ll be here today, I’ll be here tomorrow” – even if it sounds a little bitchy. After three years of the same damn questions, you can’t blame me for getting somewhat cranky.

Most Aussies that I have met are lovely. The ones that aren’t must not be Aussies, or are just angry that day, because on the whole these people are just nice. Everyone is willing to help, even a stranger, and they truly love kids (even my 4 year old that thinks every shop is a playground.)

Cafes are a necessity. You can have one street, 2 blocks long lined with shops on either side and there will be at least 5 cafes, sometimes side by side. And they are all packed.

You don’t have to wait until it’s 5 o’clock for a drink. Many people enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with lunch, it is just the norm.

My ears still perk up when I hear a North American accent, and I have to fight with myself to NOT say anything. Thankfully today, I was speaking with a fellow American and I didn’t say a word, she was the one to say “you’re from America, huh?” I was proud of myself for holding back.

Things still seem expensive. I thought that over time I would get accustomed to the price tags on clothing but no. A plain cotton t-shirt for $79.95? No thanks.

It is fantastic living in a place where people aren’t lawsuit happy. I have heard countless stories of people involved in minor car accidents and they check the damage, exchange numbers and continue on their way. No waiting for police to write reports, no insurance companies to get involved. They settle disputes much more sanely, at least it seems.

Many people swore my kids would get Aussie accents. Nope, didn’t happen. They say many Aussie words and pronounce some words different, but on the whole they sound just like me. And I don’t mind at all.

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