Nine days.

Mar. 24th, 2014 07:53 pm
tabi_no_sora: (Default)
[personal profile] tabi_no_sora
We are gradually cutting our ties to London, and tying up all the loose ends. I left my job last week; I've had my last Korean lesson and done my last bit of consulting for a previous employer; we're slowly saying goodbye to all our friends. We had [personal profile] kerrypolka and [personal profile] ewan and [profile] _jenjen_ over yesterday afternoon to help us finish off our supplies of tea, champagne and other things we can't take to Canada with us, and to talk about all sorts of interesting things, and...well, it was very fun but also very sad. I know we'll keep in touch, but as Kerry says, 'of course there's still the internet but the internet is not the pub'. I must commit to blogging more often when I'm over in Canada - I'm sure I will, as it's such a good way of keeping in touch with people (LJ saved my sanity when I was in Japan - although admittedly a lot more of my friends used it back then!). Joe and I are sharing a computer between us at the moment, so I don't get much chance for blogging.

On the bright side, what a marvellous place we are moving to. Yesterday I shared my worries that Joe and I were going to have to spend Pesach with Chabad Winnipeg ('Chabad: Fun Times For All, Unless You're Not a Jewish Dude'), as no progressive shuls seemed to be doing a first-night seder. But then Kerry told me about her underwhelming and painfully un-egalitarian Purim with Chabad Venice and I realised that anything was better than that, so I overcame my shyness and fear of barging in on people and actually got in touch with the Reform shul in Winnipeg to say 'hello, we are Jewish and progressive and also Jets fans if that helps, please save us from Chabad at Pesach'.

Within an hour somebody from the shul had got back to me to say that she'd put out the call to community members to find out if anybody had space for us at their seder table, and thirty minutes after that we had a response from this completely awesome-sounding couple - one born in the UK, naturalised Canadian and Jewish by choice, the other Jewish by birth but put off the religion in childhood and returning to it as an adult on her own terms, and both of them eco-kosher and progressive and intellectually engaged with Judaism (and also Jets fans, naturally). I think we will have a lot to talk about.

This basically sums up my experience of the prairie cities so far - and Canada in general, come to think of it. Every single person I've interacted with has been welcoming and enthusiastic, genuinely pleased that I'm interested in their home, and eager to introduce me to the best it has to offer. And everywhere is always more interesting than you think it's going to be - Winnipeg, for example, is multicultural (over 100 languages spoken in the city), progressive (first 'large city' in North America to elect an openly gay mayor), has a great food and restaurant scene and a proud history of First Nations/Metis awesomeness, workers' rights and REVOLUTION. And to think I once thought it was just a nothingy sort of town in the middle of a lot of wheat.

I am so, so ready to fall in love with this country. I hope it's as great as its inhabitants seem to be.
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