Galiano

Apr. 5th, 2014 10:48 am
tabi_no_sora: (Default)
[personal profile] tabi_no_sora
We are here, and so far everything is really great! We had a pretty good flight over, and immigration went smoothly, although very slowly and in a very long queue. It took a while to believe that we actually had our work permits all stamped in our passports, and that we really were entitled to be in this country for a whole year (actually I am still finding it hard to believe, but I’m slowly getting used to it).

We’d decided that our very first destination in Canada would be Galiano Island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. We thought after all the stress of moving it would be really nice to spend a couple of days on a small island with very little to do apart from Be In Nature. So we stayed at a hotel near the airport on Wednesday night, and then took a bus from the hotel straight to the ferry terminal early on Thursday morning (which fortunately didn’t feel all that early for us, as we’d gone to bed at 9pm. Constructive use of jetlag ftw). And then we got to the island and everything was lovely. We were staying here, in one of a cluster of nine little cabins in the woods, run by a lovely friendly lady who helped us figure out the ferry timetable and gave us a lift to the terminal today. In the daytime we hiked around the forest trails and down by the sea, on routes carefully plotted by Joe to get us to the island pub by lunchtime. In the late afternoon we wandered back to our cabin in time to catch some hockey on TV, and then in the evening there was the hot tub, and dinner in the cabin, and early bed. It was all very wholesome and outdoorsy. Everybody was super-friendly, the food at the two eateries we visited (the pub and the diner) was great, we had everything we needed, and it was just a beautiful relaxing way to start our holiday, and our life in Canada. We also had great luck with the weather – it was mild and greyish the day we arrived, but on Friday we hiked in glorious sunshine all day, and then today as we got up we saw the rainclouds rolling in from Vancouver Island. We’re on the ferry back to Vancouver now – I’m sad to leave Galiano, but also quite excited to be going back to a place where there is public transport and more than three places to eat. I do not think I am cut out for island life, at least not in any long-term kind of way.

Some things that make me happy about Canada:

- The vast majority of people are friendly and nice, and willing to help us figure out stuff we don’t understand.

- There are Canadian and BC flags all over the place. It’s nice to live in a country where the flag has mainly cheery positive associations, rather than guilt-laden and/or faintly xenophobic imperialist ones.

- The money! It is so shiny! The notes are made of plastic and all cheerful colours and they have a see-through bit in them!

- Mountains!

- There is a lot of new and exciting food. Even the snacky food you get in corner shops is new and exciting, and there are also a lot of snacky foods I remember from my childhood in various places but haven’t eaten in forever because you can’t get them in the UK. Every time I go into a corner shop I am overwhelmed with choice. I want to try ketchup crisps, but I haven’t managed it yet because every time I go to buy some I find something else I want to try instead.

- We don’t really know how anything works, which might seem like a bad thing except that I’m looking forward to figuring it all out. I like being foreign, generally.

Some things that make me sad about Canada:

- The cheese here is really expensive.

- A lot of people seem to take some sort of vague offence when we tell them we’re travelling across Canada for the next few weeks but plan to settle in Toronto. We have good reasons for settling in Toronto and there is no reason for people to get sniffy and start listing reasons why Vancouver is better. On the bright side, I imagine this will cease to be a problem when we get to Toronto.

- I am concerned that there might not be any Quorn mince here. I think they make their fake-meat delicacies out of tofu instead, which is fine I suppose but Quorn is better.
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