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Sunday, June 18, 2006 

My Left Foot & Other Anomalies

After spending a couple of days in London, England, we finally made the trek across the Atlantic. We arrived in Canada last weekend and we've been pretty busy ever since.

So far, we've:
-bought a mini-van
It seems 75% of the population own one and now I know why...they really are very comfortable, roomy and reasonably priced.

-gotten accustomed to driving an automatic car.
It took me about a half hour to figure out what to do with my left foot (having no clutch pedal to worry about) and my right hand (having no gear shift) before I can safely say that I think I've got the hang of it again.

-found a house.
We won't be able to move in until August. Hopefully our furniture will arrive before then.

-replaced my Swiss Army knife that was confiscated from me at the Athens airport.
I know you're all thinking "why on EARTH would she THINK she could take a knife on board a plane. I'll tell you why. Security never took it from me when I went to Olympic events and I even took it to Spain with me two years ago and the airline didn't have a problem with it then so I figured I could still get away with it. Besides, a girl's gotta have some protection if a plane is ever hijacked. So there is a method to my supposed madness.

-confirmed that smokers are second-class citizens in Canada.
90% of public spaces ban smokers. Although we did find one waterfront pub that allowed us to smoke on the back patio. How gracious of them. I'll definitely be returning there. I've heard that by December 31 this year, I won't even be able to go there either since there'll be a 100% ban on smoking everywhere. A question to ponder: why is it that Greece, with almost half the population smoking, has the same lifespan with Canadians where only 21% smoke? Either way, I'll probably still have to quit because I can't afford to spend $10.25 for a pack of cigarettes.

-realized that my husband will take quite awhile to adjust to nature.
He kept telling my sister and her husband that one of their cell phones was ringing. They weren't. Apparently he can't tell the difference between a bird call and a ring tone.

-realized that pubic servants can be friendly and helpful.
When we went to get licence plates for our mini van, the plate she gave us ended in an odd number. My husband jokingly remarked that it would be nice if we could have an even numbered plate so he could remember it better. She promptly got up from her chair and returned with an even numbered plate. Christmas came early for my husband. AND when she told us we needed photocopies of our ID, we started to gather our papers to get them done, when she stopped us and told us she was going to do it. I felt like I was on another planet.

-seen more rain in one week than we had in Greece all year.
Out of the 8 days we've been here, it's been raining and/or completely foggy for 4 of them. No wonder most of the houses here look like doll houses with their perfectly manicured lawns and spotless interiors...Canadians have nothing else better to do on rainy days but to clean. I'm doomed.

Since it's another foggy day today and most likely will rain again, I'll be trapped inside doing housework. Because I'm staying at my sister's house till we move into ours, she'll be thrilled and perfecting her rain dance skills.

Thanks again for all your good wishes on my last blog. If there is such a thing as "positivity", then all those comments should have a positive effect on my life over here. Good or bad though, I'll still be blogging it all.

As you've been quiet for the last week since arriving in Canada, I jumped to the most logical explination: that you'd all dropped dead from the cold. It's strange really as I've like totally made my peace with you and just when I'm ready to move on, you're back!

-bought a minivan - You'll have to post a picture of it because I don't know what a mini van would look like.

-gotten used to an automatic car - I absolutely love driving in the States for this reason. Automatic cars are so easy to drive, they pretty much do it yourself and now you have your right hand free for smoking related driving activities!

-found a house - Cool!

-replaced your Swiss Army knife - I can't believe you! Well I can! I told you when you went to Spain that you just got lucky with the security. I regularly encounter stricter security in Greece than I do in the UK. Saying that, in Spain, they practically make me undress when they x-ray me but thats cos they want to do rude things! I can't blame them though... I'm just that hot! LOL

-become a second class citizen - $10,25 for cigarattes! Woah! I hope you did the smart thing and included cigarettes in with your furnature! Either that or we're gonna have to work on care parcels.

-realized that K will take quite awhile to adjust to nature - that's Athens for you!

-realized that pubic servants can be friendly and helpful - this one totally made me laugh. The civil servant photocopied your stuff FOR YOU??. It'll take you some time to realize you don't have to join the paper chase any more.

-seen more rain in one week than we had in Greece all yearWell sweetie, did you know that you took the good weather with you when you left? London was hotter than Athens the whole time you were there! It's only really at the end of last week the temperatures have increased! Ironically I'm watching NET news as we speak and there's a lovely newscast from the beach! We're expecting highs of 37oC! Remember those days?

Finally, 'housework' ?? Er.. have you been away from Canada for so long you've forgotten your English? You must have because the SeaWitch doesn't do housework! It's done for her! That's always been the way! Don't let a move to Narnia change the natural way things go!

Φιλάκια πολλά!

We miss you!

ZARDOZ SAYS :

have fun settling in,,
no matter how much time
it'll take ,,i'll await
your writing,,
and your perspective
which i quite enjoyed,,

in the mean time ,,
how about that bottle of
of irish whisky
E.D that i promised scruf + and
FLUX ,, seems youre not adjusting
well , should i make it one more for ya,, if ever we meet...

κουραγιο to both of ya..!

= ZARDOZ =

Glad to hear that things are going well.

We sure do miss our SeaWitch though!

PS. Maybe you will stop smoking now! Ha!

Yes you should stop smoking, I find it surprising you do smoke. In fact I never understood why people ever smoke. I think Greek people live the same number of years because of the Mediterranean diet they follow to a large extent, otherwise you think the climate of Athens in which half the population lives is clean and healthy?

ellasdevil, minivans are vans meant for personal use (they are not necessarily small so I'm not sure why they are called mini), they are more popular in USA/canada because they have more open space and drive longer distances with kids etc. You can easily buy an automatic car in Greece if you really like them so much, apparently most people including me don't. Similarly in the USA you can buy a manual car, it's cheaper than automatic usually (never understood why people don't prefer them more).

I'm glad things are going well for you.
Have you experienced any reverse culture shock (besides the public officials)?

ellas...Of course I'm back! You didn't think you'd get away with things THAT easily did you? LOL

I have to recharge my battery on my digital camera in order for me to post pics and for that to happen, I need to get an adaptor, and for that to happen I need to drag my carcass to the store that sells them. Soon, ellaki mou, soon. hehehe

At least they were very nice to me when they confiscated my knife. They didn't just take it...they told me why and apologized for having to do it.

I just bought a carton of cigarettes at duty free and now they're all gone. But I am smoking less so maybe I can do this quitting thing all by myself without resorting to pasting 250 nicotine patches on my body at once. LOL

I have another civil servant story to relate to you from today...I enrolled my son in summer camp activities hosted by the muncipality. K remarked that they were kind of expensive...then, in a nanosecond, the clerk snatched the form from my hand came back with another one and told me that I would only have to pay half price since I just moved from Greece and didn't have a job! Unbelievable. She didn't even ask if I was citizen or anything. Totally bizarre.

And as for housework. Yes, I've actually been doing housework since I'm staying at my sister's place. It's all for show and she knows it.

zardoz...I hope my blog won't suffer from boring topics. The "big news" never seems to amount to much more than tenants fighting with their landlords or dog walk-a-thons for charity. I'm already snoring as soon as I pick up the paper. LOL And as for the whiskey...you won't hear me complain if a bottle shows up on my doorstep!

mel...I miss you too and I've never even met you! Weird how that works isn't it?? My brother in law is from Tennessee too and now that I'm in his house 24-7, I fear I'm going to end up speaking with all y'all's accent. LOL (BTW, you guys have the FUNNIEST phrases like "higher than two hippies in a helicopter". Or maybe, that's just him. LOL)

I will keep you updated on my efforts to quit smoking. But don't hold your breath. Stranger things have happened I suppose.

seal...It's bad enough I get the "you still SMOKE?" reactions from people offline and I have to get it on my blog too! LOL Last time, I'll ever mention it...until I actually quit.

And this is what's so strange, seal...despite the pollution and heavy smoking population, Greeks still manage a good longevity rate. So I do believe diet and lifestyle seem to make all the difference.

j.doe...I think I will be experiencing more culture shock once I become more involved in the daily routines of life. Right now, I still feel like a tourist and I find most things just quaint or odd. I'll blog about that next.

welcome home :-)

Couldn't stop smiling at your husband mistaking the cry of birds for ring tones.

Glad you're settling in. The UN says Canada is the best place to live in the world, I can see why.Better to live bored than to die stressed.


I'll be back.

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