So, the other day I went shopping for some groceries, which, all in all is a fairly domestic and commonplace affair, but I do have to say, it was rather surreal.
In the next few years, I’ll be looking to immigrate to Canada. I’ve had a chat with an immigration lawyer and all those things, and I have some paperwork ready, but sometimes the simplest things are the most startling.
So I walked into a supermarket yesterday, yeah? And I know supermarkets are fairly regional things, but I realised something when I walked into that supermarket chain.
Being an ex-pat is all about adjustment.
Walking into a supermarket can remind you that you are, in fact, entirely out of your element.
I picked up on some American brand names and waded blindly through everything else.
There’s a Starbuck’s in the supermarket? Okay.
And, as I was pushing the cart with no sense of direction whatsoever, I thought – will this be the new normal for me? Is this what life looks like in the landlocked prairies in Canada? I, who grew up on the coastline in the southern hemisphere, an hour away from some of the world’s best beaches, on an entire continent surrounded by water?
…it’s sort of exciting though, isn’t it? The challenge of it. The challenge of living somewhere completely different, of changing cultures and climates and customs.
I’ve made a list of the things I think I’ll miss when I go home for a while. Don’t tell the wife, though.
I’m also quickly making a list of the things that I’ll miss when I do finally move. They creep up on me, one by one. Quiet realisations of all the things I won’t be there for.
But I suppose, too, there will be a growing list of things I’ll love – until it balances out.
And for a while it might be awkward – all this adjusting. I’ll be Australian-Canadian and a smattering of other things, too, probably.
I’ll be a mutt.
But it sounds…good. Big, but good.