Category Archives: Observations

The Price of a Dollar

Well, I heard the Canadian dollar is at an 11 year high. One U.S. dollar is .79 Canadian cents (last month it was at .73 cents). YAY – but not for me.

The media keeps saying it’s a good time for “cross-border” shopping. I think I’ll stay right here and shop, thank you very much. Still comes out slightly cheaper for me.

Duck and Chicken

Everything tastes like chicken, except for duck apparently. Which is odd because you’d think that of all animals duck would be the one to taste most like chicken.

I had the pan seared duck for dinner last night. It was good, and didn’t taste like chicken. Tasted more like roast beef. I don’t get it but then again, who cares, it was good.

Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend

It’s a long weekend because of Thanksgiving on Monday. Yep, Canadian Thanksgiving is always the second Monday of October. It feels a little strange to be having Thanksgiving so early but it makes sense since harvest time is earlier here. Of course Rob and I will celebrate both Canadian and US Thanksgivings. (We’ve had several people comment to us that Americans always celebrate both. Sure, why not!)

Canadians don’t make a big deal out of Thanksgiving like we Americans do. That’s what they’ve told us, and Rob and I have noticed it as well. They are not celebrating a specific event, instead it is “a day of general Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed” as proclaimed by Parliament. The stores don’t sell a lot of Thanksgiving decorations and it generally isn’t advertised much. But we do get the day off.

Of Different Cultures

I heard two women speaking Spanish yesterday! Very exciting! One of them had just come back from Chile.

The cultural mix here is very different from Orlando where women speaking spanish is common. Actually, they speak Spanglish most of the time. It’s a form of Spanish, unofficially, I guess. It goes something like this:

…yo fui a los movies con Norma the other night y ella my dijo que…

I haven’t quite figured out the rules for changing languages, but in the U.S. it comes naturally to those who speak both languages. Then there is also Cyberspanglish.

Back to the reason I was so excited to hear Spanish. The cultural make up of the Vancouver area is very different from Florida. There is a huge Chinese population from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. There is also a huge population from India.

On the other hand I’ve only seen about ten black people and two Hispanics. Those women speaking Spanish were the first Latinos I’ve noticed. I’ve been told there is a Latin American population in downtown Vancouver, mostly from Columbia and El Salvador but we haven’t spent much time downtown yet.

I figured there weren’t many Hispanics in the area after I went to the grocery store. Instead of 2 aisles full of Latino foods (not just Mexican) all I found was a little taco section. So sad. It’s a good thing I brought a few Latino seasonings with me: Adobo, a Puerto Rican seasoning and chimichurri, an Argentinian sauce. Never leave home without them!

My accent and the neighborhood bear

Today was a beautiful day in the Vancouver area. The air was crisp and cool and the sun was shining. Unfortunately my day didn’t start until 11am. I slept in because I wasn’t feeling well. But after getting up I decided I needed to take advantage of the great weather.

In the afternoon I walked to the small plaza in the neighborhood to run some errands. Rob had the car. It was a 10 min brisk walk. I dropped off a pair of pants at the dry cleaners. The lady there was super nice and we started talking. She told me about the bus stop across the street as well as the bus times. I was happy to get that information because the website for the transit system is not easy.

Then I went to the grocery store next door to buy stamps. There is a small post office desk in the grocery store. I asked the lady behind the counter if I would be able to ship boxed salmon to the US. She didn’t understand me and I had to ask 2 more times before she finally got it. She told me it was my accent. I guess I said salmon weird, but she’s the first person to tell me I had an accent! Apperently there are a lot of restrictions for shipping packages to the US from Canada. She gave me a flyer with a couple of websites on where I could check what the US would allow me to mail. I’ll check it out later. Or I’ll mail stuff in Washington. It’ll be cheaper and faster.

After that I went to the coffee shop across the street and worked on my Beth Moore bible study, Believing God. I’m looking forward to the 9 week study. I’ve done 2 of her other studies and they were great. So about 2 hours after I set out, I started back home. I took a longer way home in order to explore and enjoy the beautiful mountain views.

As I walked up the driveway I stopped to talk to Claudia. Her and Dave are our landlords. She asked me if I had seen any police cars as I was out walking around. I hadn’t seen any. I asked her why? Apparently there was a black bear walking around the neighborhood this afternoon!

Loonies and Toonies?

This morning, while I was getting coffee at The Wired Monk coffee shop, the guy working there taught me some Canadian slang. It was exciting! Okay, so I learned that the Canadian one dollar coin is called a “loonie”. The two dollar coin is called a “toonie”. Wanna know why? Glad you asked, I’ll tell you. The “loonie” has the loon bird on one side. Hence the nickname loonie. Then then two dollar coin came out and of course it needed a nickname. So it got the name toonie to rhyme with loonie. I like having one and two dollar coins.