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!

White Rock

We went to White Rock yesterday after church. One of my co-workers, Claire, lives there and she kept telling me how great a place it is. So we went to check it out. It’s about 30 minutes from Surrey.

It’s a nice beach town with a long boardwalk, pier, and shops and places to eat along the boardwalk. It was a great sunny day to go. I didn’t see the beach though. Apparently it was high tide because the water came right up to the rocks. And it was COLD! But then again, I’m a wimp and won’t even go in the water in Florida until August. We saw several huge purple starfish on the rocks near the pier. I’d never seen starfish in the water before. We also saw the big white rock the town named after.

For lunch we had a super healthy serving of fish and chips at Moby Dick’s! Claire said it was the best and it was! But I don’t think I can handle another deep fried meal for awhile, even though the best foods are always deep fried. It was a nice relaxing afternoon in another beautiful place in British Columbia.

Trip to the Grocery Store

After staring at the shopping cart for what felt like 5 minutes I finally decided I needed to ask for help. So I found a bag boy to help me. The look on his face was something like this: “huh? what? you need help with, okay”. It turns out that the coin goes into the handle sideways, then the key gets pushed in, and after all that I can finally unlock it from the other cart! I know grocery stores do this in the U.S, but I’m not used to it.

I love this grocery store, Save On Foods. It’s Canadian owned. I can buy everything I need in BULK! Well, maybe not everything, but just about.

Today I purchased in bulk:

  • chocolate chip cookie mix (just add water, not bad but I won’t buy it again, they also had other cookie mixes)
  • candy corn (for Rob)
  • basil
  • bay leaves
  • croutons
Other bulk items I didn’t purchase:
  • all kinds of seasonings
  • 10 different types of rice
  • 10 different types of soup mixes
  • all kinds of candy and nuts
  • pasta
I can’t wait to buy more stuff in bulk!

Driving in Circles

I drove in circles this morning while Rob took pictures. We wanted to go west over the Port Mann bridge to take a picture of the view and the logs sitting in the river. I drove over the bridge, got off the highway onto another highway, not really knowing where I was going. Ten minutes later I found a place to turn around (I didn’t U-turn because we were told they were illegal in Canada) and I headed back east over the bridge towards home. I should have followed Rob’s directions (sorry Rob) and because I didn’t we ended up going over the bridge again.

Half an hour later I was driving over the Port Mann bridge again, while Rob took pictures, again. This time I knew which exit to get use so I could quickly turn around. I got lost again and it took another 5 minutes to turn around. We finally made it home an hour later. I’ll never do that again!